MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Fall sports are postponed until further notice for Shelby County Schools.
That’s a tough blow to the Mitchell High school community.
“We have a long standing tradition down here in sports, period,” said Mitchell High School Head Boys Basketball Coach Andre Turner.
Turner says he understands why so many athletes protested Wednesday morning with hopes district leaders would reconsider.
“I know it’s a lot of frustration with a lot of seniors who didn’t get that last chance to play on the field. They didn’t get that last opportunity, the last play that would have changed their life forever,” said Kirby High School Senior Football Player Kaleb Alamo.
The fear is that no games means no recruiters, which may mean no scholarship offers.
The district says they have a plan.
“Right now I have a team of athletic leaders that are focused on showcasing the incredible talents of our student athletes,” said Dr. Joris Ray in a video released Tuesday.
Wednesday, Ray shared through social media more details of how they plan to showcase their athletes.
Ray says there will be showcases and combines for junior and and senior athletes, as well as exposure to local and national coaches and scouts.
The district is also planning workshops to help athletes with proactive recruiting efforts.
Coach Turner says that will help but nothing replaces playing an actual season.
“College recruiters are looking for consistency as well, not just one game where they have 30 points or play good defense, then the next 10 games let’s see how they perform,” said Turner.
Next month Turner would traditionally be holding try-outs for his basketball team.
It’s unclear at this point if that will happen or if he’ll have a season at all.
Tough break for him and his players, but Turner does support the district’s decision.
“I totally understand where Dr. Ray is coming from because if you’re a parent and you are a parent of a student athlete, you’re a parent first and I don’t want anything to happen to my kids,” said Turner.
Ray says there will be no contact sports until students return to in-person learning.
Currently the district is 100% virtual.
Ray says science, not emotions, will guide his decision on when to resume sports.