The CIAC football committee voted Monday that it will recommend pushing the 2020 season to spring due to coronavirus concerns, according to multiple sources involved in the decision.
The vote was nearly unanimous among committee members, with just one dissenting vote out of 10, according to one of sources. The committee is made up of school principals, athletic directors and several coaches and advisors.
All of the sources contacted by GameTimeCT reiterated that the committee does not have power to officially change the season. That power rests in the CIAC’s Board of Control, which will be meeting Wednesday at 2 p.m., according to CIAC executive director Glenn Lungarini, in order to examine the football committee’s recommendation.
There were no decisions made on what a 2021 football season would look like or when it would begin and how it would impact other seasonal sports, however.
CIAC has already said it would not be swapping spring sports into the fall, meaning a football season would have to either be squeezed in between a potential winter and spring season two months at a time, or simultaneously.
There will be additional committee meetings held throughout the week as the state rapidly approaches the start of practice season, sources indicated.
Officially, the CIAC football season is still set to begin with practices in cohorts of 15 beginning August 17 and with a kickoff of a six-to-eight game season set for Sept. 24.
Thirteen states, including the District of Columbia, have already announced the move of football and other fall sports to the spring season. Connecticut is one of 20 states that have announced a delay to the start of their fall seasons. Another 18 states have announced their fall sports seasons will start as scheduled.
Lungarini emphasized that the CIAC’s fall sports plan, which was unveiled on July 31, was subject to change as the different fall sports committees meet this week and submit their recommendations on how to proceed.
Committees for volleyball met Monday morning and swimming Monday afternoon. Field Hockey’s committee meeting will be Tuesday and soccer on Wednesday morning. Cross country’s committee would also be meeting before Wednesday.
“At this point, we’re following the process we laid out,” said Lungarini, who said the CIAC received regionalized schedule plans from the state’s leagues on Friday. “We submitted our plan on July 31, which gave time for our superintendents, principals, athletic directors and coaches across the state to review it and offer feedback.
“This week, we’re reviewing and meeting with the individual sports committees to consider the feedback we’ve received and any recommendations would be reviewed by (the board of control).”
Lungarini also said he continues to have discussions with the various high school organizations, including the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS), the Connecticut Association of Athletic Directors (CAAD), the Connecticut High School Coaches Association (CHSCA) and other advisors and doctors across the state. “We’re consistently communicating with all of the groups,” Lungarini said.
On Monday, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont’s office reported 247 new COVID-19 cases since Friday and three more deaths while 64 patients remain hospitalized. The numbers reflected the state’s continued trend of containing the spread of the virus as cases and deaths tick upward elsewhere, including Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
“It’s always changing and we’re trying to stay on top of where we are, not just in our state, but understanding where we are in New England, New York and New Jersey and how that might impact us,” Lungarini said.
“Ultimately, we’re an education-based activity. We want our kids to be on campus, engaged and learning as much as possible. Athletics is a strong extension of that curriculum. Our priority remains keeping kids on campus as much as possible.”