As high school football begins to get ready to kickoff for some students districts and regions across Texas, two high school athletic directors in Utah took enforcement of masks and social distancing into their own hands Thursday night.
Athletic Director Jeremy Lewis, for American Fork High School decided that he would stop the game and not resume until fans and students abided by mask rules and social distancing.
““I’m just the messenger and that’s just me doing my job,” Lewis told Salt Lake City based Deserte News. “More and more we get to realize the privilege we all have in Utah to actually be at football games, and certainly for the kids to be out there — playing the game that they love. So my job is to help ensure it happens and can continue. We all want that.”
Lewis also said that there were specific rules put into place by athletic director’s across Utah and he felt that it was up to him to make sure that those rules were being abided by.
But as football gets ready to kickoff hard here in Texas, one has to wonder if such drastic measures will be undertaken here? Football here in Texas is serious business and many parents and athletic directors have made it clear that nothing will come between them and their football. Schools make money off of it, some students win scholarships, parents and some towns get bragging rights, the UIL makes money with it and some media outlets would have nothing to talk about if it were not for the game itself. The economic impact is both deep and serious. So one has to ask if the measures will be strictly enforced?
The UIL, which has been questionable at best in their decision making process seems to think that kids in 5A and 6A schools can’t get COVID-19 until late September. They also seem to think that kids in 1A-4A are less susceptible to the virus than their 5A-6A counterparts, allowing them to start over a month ahead of each other. So would they really enforce the rules? It is highly unlikely.
Football has proven less to be about the kids and more as a marketing endeavour and social gathering. It always has. Safety has always been a priority and so has making sure there is fair play. But you have to wonder just how far the UIL will allow it to go?
Time will tell, as teams begin play this coming week.
Matt Pierce Briscoe filed this report from Corpus Christi, Texas.