The Executive Director of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) has issued a statement today saying that he and his organization are 100 percent in favor of school sports taking place in the next school year.
Executive Director Eddie Bonine sent out a statement today making that declaration, a statement likely sparked by a letter sent by lawmaker Cleo Fields to BESE saying that he hoped school sports would be canceled through December.
BESE has said that meetings and planning will take place in the coming days and weeks, but that it has no ability to shape the decisions school districts, nor the LHSAA make in terms of athletic events.
Today, Bonine said that he believes athletics have to happen in Louisiana because the harm of not having then outweighs the affects of the virus.
"Now, more than ever, we are reminded that our communities need high school sports," Bonine said. "...The LHSAA is fully committed to the safe return of high school athletics this fall."
To date, 3 Louisiana children under 18 have died of COVID-19, but 2 have had pre-diagnosed conditions.
Listed cases in that age group total 4,282, but experts say the number is likely several times higher because in the early days of the pandemic, tests kits were at a premium and patients of that age were labeled "low-risk" and were sent home to quarantine without being issued a test.
Bonine said he thinks the mental health of students will be challenged if athletics are taken from them again for a second-straight semester. He also added that the re-opening must be done safely and while following guidelines issued by the Medicine Advisory Committee.
"Interscholastic competition supports the physical, emotional and mental well-being of student-athletes across Louisiana," Bonine said.