High School Football in Louisiana to Start October 8-10
It appears to be just a formality now that high school football in Louisiana will begin October 8-10.
According to The Advocate, it was a group effort by state legislators, the attorney general's office, the governor's office, the LHSAA and education groups.
The aforementioned groups have been working behind the scenes for weeks to come up with an agreement that alleviates the LHSAA's novel coronavirus liability for schools.
The agreement also conflicts with Louisiana's phased reopening. As you may recall, weeks back, it was declared that the state would need to be in Phase 3 for a set period of time before high school football competition could proceed.
"In this case, I waited as long as I could wait to make sure we got every path covered," LHSAA executive director Eddie Bonine said. "And I truly believe our coaches and all the local administration people ... they've kicked tail and they are ready. With the hand that they have been dealt now, they are going to get another case of normality."
Rep. Buddy Mincey of Denham Springs requested an opinion on Act-9 related to liability for the LHSAA and its schools. Mincey was the original author of the piece of legislation that became Act 9.
Attorney General Jeff Landry then issued an opinion that playing high school football would not carry liability by the LHSAA schools under Act 9.
At Friday morning's House Education Committee at the State Capitol, House Speaker Clay Schexnayder's opening statement confirmed the pending announcement of the agreement.
"I appreciate you all working hard and getting things done like this," Schexnayder said. "I've said this before with other pieces of legislation we've all worked on, when you bring people together, a lot of good things can happen.
"I thank all you parents, teachers, coaches and everybody involved in this for your emails, your calls and support. This is huge. I want to be clear ... this meeting and its actions are not an attempt to ignore public safety. It's about beginning to move out of a temporary abnormal and back to life."
Bonine later said he is going to the LHSAA executive committee on September 9 with a proposal to move forward with full-contact football practices. He is also proposing the season to begin on October 8-10 regardless of Louisiana's phased approach to reopening.
Bonine expects the proposal to pass without issue.
It is then believed that teams can begin full-contact football drills late next week, with the possibility of scrimmages and jamborees before the start of an eight-game football regular season. Playoffs would then run through the month of December.
Plans for spectators for all sports are still being finalized, but tentatively the plan is to allow 50% occupancy for football stadiums and gyms for volleyball.