Wednesday, a newly formed Florida High School Athletic Association task force voted 8-7 to recommend moving back the start of official fall practice from July 27 to no earlier than Aug. 10.
That would push back the football season to no earlier than Sept. 14. It would also affect the other fall sports, bowling, cross country, golf, swimming and girls volleyball, which would also be delayed if the recommendation is approved. Athletes are currently able to do conditioning drills with coaches on coaches as a lead-up to July 27.
The fall sports task force has no power to make or set policy, it can only send a recommendation to Executive Director George Tomyn. The FHSAA would need to approve the recommendation before it became official.
This comes a week after the FHSAA said it was “optimistic” all sports will open as scheduled with practice on July 27 and preseason play begin in the second week of August. As it stands now, preseason football Kickoff Classic are scheduled to be played Aug. 13-15, and regular-season openers are slated for as early as Aug. 20.
The task force’s recommendation comes on the heels of recent significant spikes in COVID-19 cases in the state. Back on June 23, Tomyn said during a virtual meeting: “The governor (Ron DeSantis) and commissioner of education (Richard Corcoran) are very optimistic about schools opening as scheduled in the fall. I’m also remaining optimistic. At this moment in time, our staff is counting on a fall sports schedule that has already been published.”
He also warned “that could change this afternoon or tomorrow morning at 10 o’clock. We know that’s the biggest issue that we have. It’s the unknown, not knowing exactly what the case may be or what tomorrow may bring.”