Kentucky Board of Education to hold virtual teleconference on Friday about fall sports

UPDATE 1:16 PM: The public relations representative for the Kentucky Board of Education has announced Friday’s meeting will NOT be about canceling fall sports in Kentucky.

A statement from Interim Commissioner Kevin C. Brown

“I want to correct some misinformation that is being spread across social media and news outlets. The Kentucky Board of Education will not be considering canceling sports seasons at its special meeting Aug. 28. There is a narrowly tailored agenda that includes a report from KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett about the status of fall sports, a report and discussion from Department for Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack, concerns from superintendents and possibly authorizing a letter from the board to the KHSAA Board of Control voicing concerns about high-contact fall sports.

“The KHSAA is the designated agent of the KBE and its authority will be respected, yet the board still has a moral obligation to review matters that could affect the health and safety of students. This is why I recommended the meeting take place. To do otherwise would place the KBE members in a position of ignoring their obligation to oversee the ‘management and control of the common schools and all programs operated in these schools.’”

LEXINGTON, KY (WTVQ) – The KHSAA and the governor’s office made the decision for fall sports to begin practice and eventually compete, but now the Kentucky Board of Education wants to discuss the matter. On Wednesday evening, the Kentucky Board of Education (KBE) announced they would be having  an emergency virtual teleconference to talk about fall sports in Kentucky. The teleconference will take place at noon on Friday.

Last Thursday, the KHSAA made the decision to proceed with the schedule they had created in early August. This allowed fall sports to begin practice August 24, competition for most sports to begin September 7 and for football to begin September 11th. KHSAA Commissioner Julian Tackett asked schools to tread lightly after giving the green light for them to begin practice.

“It is critical that we expand as slowly as possible and our programs not press the accelerator too quickly. Certainly, no one should expect teams to be in postseason form in their first game and if administrators and coaches don’t feel like this slower progression is in their best interests, they need to wait to start contests. The KHSAA doesn’t direct teams to play, we only define the allowable times for play. We will plan on the submission of contest documents very early next week and will remain available to discuss any of those provisions with the Governor’s office and the Kentucky Department of Health.”

On Monday, it was Governor Andy Beshear’s turn either accept or reverse the KHSAA’s decision. While he expressed his disappointment in the decision when it was made, he chose not to reverse it.

“Let me start by saying we’re not going to overturn that decision, and it’s not because I think it’s a good decision or a wise decision,” the governor said. “But if we’re going to defeat this virus, we need people other than me all over Kentucky taking responsibility to make good and wise decisions.”

Now the KBE will meet this Friday at noon. They have released an agenda. It includes several bulleted points to discuss the KHSAA’s decision, to hear from local superintendents on the safety of high-contact sports, Dr. Stephen Stack will provide COVID-19 guidance and recommendations and finally the board will discuss “possible action to authorize the Kentucky Department of Education to develop written communication to be issued to the KHSAA Board of Control on behalf of the KBE urging additional consideration of alternative options for high contact fall sports.”

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