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Home / Sport / Governor Wolf is behind the fall sports shutdown but says ‘I’m just one person’ | Trib HSSN

Governor Wolf is behind the fall sports shutdown but says ‘I’m just one person’ | Trib HSSN



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Thursday, August 13, 2020 | 3:06 pm


Governor Tom Wolf said he is unlikely to change the recommendation to delay sports for teenagers, no matter what the PIAA says, but describes his role as “a person of opinion”. .

Wolf, speaking Thursday during a press conference, said he had not read the letter the PIAA administrators sent him earlier this week. The Governor wants recreational and interscholastic youth sports to be postponed until at least January 1 to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

PIAA letter asking him to reconsider.

“Here is my recommendation,” Wolf said. “I also recommended this summer that the Pennsylvanians avoid going to Jersey Shore. I’m sorry. That is my recommendation. You do what you want, and the school districts will do what they want. Here is my recommendation. That was then and still is. “

Wolf was not wavered when asked what information the PIAA could provide to change his mind.

“I’m not sure what they can say will make me change my sense of what I believe is the right thing,” Wolf said. “They have their own discretion. I realize that I am just one person. Maybe I’m the governor, but I’m someone who has an opinion on what we have to do here. “

That leaves the PIAA facing a dilemma with fall sports that are expected to begin in 10 days. The PIAA had been hoping to persuade Wolf to change its recommendation before its board re-convened on August 21, but the governor’s comments on Thursday made that seem even more unlikely.

The PIAA had a meeting with Wolf’s staff on Friday afternoon. The expected conference call does not include the governor.

If Wolf’s recommendations do not change, the PIAA could choose to delay the sports until January or move forward without the support of the governor and his administration.

“That will be determined based on the next week of operations,” PIAA chief executive Bob Lombardi said on Thursday. “It seems to change from day to day. He is the governor. We respect his position. We respect him. We want his support. ”

Despite Wolf’s comments, Lombardi said he is still optimistic.

Speaking during a press conference in York with the state health minister, Dr. Rachel Levine, Wolf defended her youth sports recommendation, saying it puts education ahead of sport.

“We are trying to do everything we can to make sure we help our child get back to school,” Wolf said. “I don’t see how moving the population of any age across district borders will help in our efforts to reduce the disease and bring us back to school. So let’s pause (sports). “

Levine was asked to clarify the data used to aid youth sports inactivity after citing out-of-state cases only on Monday. Many recreational sports leagues have competed throughout the spring and summer, and PIAA teams returned to season training in June, but Levine said Thursday there was little data on the impact of the body. against the spread of covid-19 in Pennsylvania.

“We don’t have a lot of detailed or quantitative data from contact tracking,” she said. “There aren’t many such activities. There are some but unlike we see in the fall. The kids don’t go back to school and don’t take sports at school, so I can’t have data on that until it happens. “

Levine pointed to the decision of the college conference to shut down fall sports and said the recommendation from Wolf’s administration was based on “similar data on the spread of the virus (and) on the action against children ”.

Wolf said he also relied on his experience as the parent of former PIAA athletes, recalling clusters of cross-country runners in races and spectators gathering near the finish line.

“If I was setting priorities for my family, I think I would put education there above the nation,” he said.

Wolf’s comments on cross-country could overshadow hopes he will support some low-risk sports this fall, if not soccer or football. “Our hope is to have as many sports as possible for as many students as possible,” Lombardi said on Thursday.

PIAA sponsors cross-country, soccer, hockey, golf, soccer, women’s tennis, women’s volleyball and water polo in the fall.

When asked about allowing low exposure sports, Wolf said: “I am always open. I made a suggestion. That is the advice I would give my wife, the two of us, if we ever decided on our daughter. I think that’s how we should think like the Pennsylvanians. “

Chris Harlan is a writer for the Tribune-Review Staff. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@tribweb.com or via Twitter.




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