Oneonta High School Athletic Director Jerry Mackey told The Daily Star on Monday, Aug. 3, that the district’s decision not to begin any in-person education until at least Oct. 11 does not preclude the school’s athletic programs from potentially beginning play before the return to school buildings.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association announced July 16 that fall sports will not begin until at least Sept. 21, but the district’s reopening plan does not immediately prohibit sports from being played between Sept. 21 and Oct. 11, per a text message from Mackey.

He did stress, however, the numerous stages of approval required before interscholastic sports can be considered. He cited the governor, NYSPHSAA and school administration as needing to sign off before the district “would be able to look into it as an option.”

He also noted other obstacles, specifically transportation of student-athletes, as requiring address even after different levels of leadership allow consideration of beginning sports.

NYSPHSAA has already established a second potential schedule for interscholastic sports during the academic year, which would see all three seasons contested between the beginning of 2021 and the end of the academic year.

Other variables, including the risk of spreading the coronavirus during specific sports, remain uncertain as to how or to what degree they may affect decisions regarding the return to interscholastic sports.

Recommended for you