As coronavirus cases surge across the country, education and health officials, as well as high school state associations, continue to grapple with what a return to high school sports in the fall will look like, if there is one. In California, the CIF will make a decision on July 20.
In Texas, football in the fall is looking unlikely. Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa told MSNBC’s Garrett Haake on Thursday that “[Football] is a true contact sport, I don’t see how we can pull that off. There’s been some discussion of moving it to the spring, but we’ll have to wait and see. I don’t, I seriously doubt that we can pull that off.”
Texas is arguably the heart and soul of high school football in the U.S. The fact that Hinojosa has serious doubts about a football season taking place in Texas is significant. The district Hinojosa oversees has 153,000 students and is the second largest in the state.
Texas set a new single-day record for COVID-19 deaths and hospitalizations on Wednesday, with 98 deaths and 9,610 hospitalizations, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services.
At any level, it will be a challenge to play football this fall. In the college ranks, the Ivy League has already canceled its fall football season. The Big 10 has canceled non-conference football games and the ACC is expected to follow suit.
On a teleconference with reporters on Thursday, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he is no longer “cautiously optimistic” about a football season being held this fall. He said he’s now “very concerned.”