Eddie Bonine’s response was short and to the point.
“Now, more than ever, we are reminded that our communities need high school sports. Interscholastic competition supports the physical, emotional and mental well-being of student-athletes across Louisiana. The LHSAA is fully committed to the safe return of high school athletics this fall. We encourage member schools to follow LHSAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee Guidelines to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, and administrators. Reopening high school sports depends on all of us working together.”
Bonine, executive director of the Louisiana High School Athletic Association, sent the short memorandum to member school principals, athletic directors, coaches and officials on Wednesday afternoon, stating the association’s position on the return of prep sports in the fall.
The memorandum came two days after Louisiana State Sen. Cleo Fields, head of the Senate Education Committee, sent a letter to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education, asking the LHSAA to ban sports for its K-12 schools because of risks associated COVID-19.
On Tuesday, Sandy Holloway, president of BESE, said BESE has authority to make recommendations, but the decision on whether high schools participate in fall sports is up to the LHSAA and individual school districts.
One member of the association, Dwain Jenkins, Lutcher’s athletic director and head football coach, who also is president of the Louisiana Football Coaches Association, downplayed Fields’ comments.
“Everybody will have their own opinion on how things are progressing or moving forward. I didn’t take Senator Fields’ comments as seriously as a lot of people. Knowing how the LHSAA has progressed though this process and who needs to make those decisions and the way that BESE has kind of handled it, Jenkins said. All of BESE’s documentation has come out and said the LHSAA will make the decision on athletics.
“All of BESE and the LHSAA’s decisions have been based on what the governor has put out and the phases the governor has progressed the state in. For me, nothing more than anybody with an opinion on how things go, whether it’s a senator or anybody else, I guess, we are not super concerned because everything we are doing is based on the governor’s decisions.”