Tennessee Governor Bill Lee made his latest recommendation regarding when schools should plan to start back throughout the state, on Tuesday.
In his statement, the governor postponed his previous recommendation from April 13 to April 27 after advising classes should remain suspended through April 24 amid the continuing battle against the novel coronavirus.
Cocke County and Newport City school boards, along with many others in the region, immediately heeded the governor’s orders as they will comply with the latest measures being taken to help battle the pandemic.
As a result, high school athletics will remain suspended during the extended postponement as well.
The TSSAA has still yet to call it quits on the remainder of its sports seasons through the current academic calendar year, but the latest postponements will continue to make its efforts more difficult.
In response to Gov. Lee’s latest announcement, the TSSAA released a statement saying it encourages all member schools to heed his call, but that the association remains committed to finishing out its championship events this year.
“The resumption of the state basketball tournaments and conducting the post-season for spring sports are dependent on numerous factors including time and facilities. We will continue to explore options that will allow both to occur and will provide updates to member schools as the situation develops,” the TSSAA stated in a press release.
This is the closest the TSSAA has come to mandating how schools should carry on as it pertains to athletics.
When measures were initially taken earlier in March to battle the pandemic the association left the decision up to each school district as to whether or not it would continue with high school athletics.
The association has since maintained its stance to not enforce whether or not schools continue with regular athletic activities, but has strongly encouraged all of its members to follow the governor’s guidelines.
“Consistent with the governor’s statement, and in the interest of the health and safety of competitors, coaches, officials, and spectators, we urge every member school – both public and independent – to continue to follow the governor’s recommendation and suspend interscholastic athletics through April 24, 2020. This suspension should include games, scrimmages, practices, and organized workouts or conditioning,” the TSSAA stated in its press release.