SCS officials say decision on fall sports expected by early next week

Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 8:40 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Athletes within Shelby County Schools remained sidelined as the district is not yet authorizing teams to play games amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

SCS Superintendent Dr. Joris Ray said on Twitter a decision regarding a return to play for the fall will be shared by early next week.

The topic was discussed Wednesday among an athletic oversight panel the district created to examine participation in the TSSAA, the association that manages Tennessee high school sports.

In August, 20 football coaches within SCS submitted to the district a proposal to play sports.

The proposal references four pages of guidelines for football enacted by a sporting organization in Wisconsin. It also lays out three possible schedules, with two schedules following TSSAA structure and a third where SCS schools play each other.

Other suburban districts in the county, as well as private schools, are playing sports. Many of those schools also resumed in-person classes, while SCS started the school year in late August virtually.

The Shelby County Health Department said Thursday they continue to advise against contact sports.

“We have not had direct communication with SCS pertaining to athletics but our position is the same,” said Dr. Bruce Randolph, the county’s health officer, “We still view contact sports where there is close contact and increased transmission or risk of transmission of the virus to be a high risk activity, and we currently are not encouraging that at the time.”

Shelby County is currently reporting roughly 100 new cases of COVID-19 daily. An SCS spokesperson said the superintendent would like to see single-digit numbers of new cases for at least 14 days before considering a return for students to school buildings.

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