The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference will release its plan for the fall sports season at noon Friday.
The plans to conduct the season during the COVID-19 pandemic were supposed to be made public on Thursday afternoon after being approved by the CIAC Board of Control — which has occurred, according to Glenn Lungarini, the CIAC’s executive director.
“We want to give the (school) superintendents an opportunity to review the plan before it is released in the media so they can digest the information of the plan set forth by the CIAC,” Lungarini said.
Lungarini wouldn’t comment on any material forthcoming, but media speculation has surrounded the regular season being pushed back to late September, to reduce regular-season schedules and to make games more regional to avoid traveling long distances on public transportation.
At Gov. Ned Lamont’s Thursday press conference, Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel — vice provost for global initiatives at the University of Pennsylvania and a health advisor under President Barack Obama — was asked if he thought football could be played in the fall.
“I don’t think so,” Emanuel said. “We recommend, if you look at our risk graphic, that contact sports of any type not be played. I understand … giving up something that is a crucial part of your life. But we do need to be safe and put safety No. 1. And I think contact sports are not a good idea. NFL is going to try it with a bubble. You can’t have a bubble in high school. You have transportation, you have lots of things that are going to complicate having a football season. For one year, I think we’re going to have to take a miss on it.”
Emanuel also dismissed the idea that the fall season can be delayed.
“Postpone to when?” he said. “You have to have some idea that this is going to a significantly different scenario in a few months, in January. I cannot figure out what is going to be significantly different in January for kids in school that is going to really transform this.
“Let me just play it out for you. Even under optimistic scenarios, if we had a vaccine proven effective, all it November, December … you and I, an average person, is not going to vaccinated until some time in the fall of 2021, just given the amount of vaccine we can produce, the logistics of getting it out. So I don’t see postponing to January is really going to buy you a safe episode to actually play the game.”
Said Lamont, “I agree with you … What does waiting two months mean?”