On Tuesday, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association announced that it was extending its dead period from June 1 to June 15. That means the earliest that teams could begin off-season conditioning and workouts is more than two weeks from now. Commissioner Que Tucker said that she hoped all sports, including football, could begin June 15 provided there are no setbacks.
Tucker said the NCHSAA would follow guidelines set by N.C. Governor Roy Cooper regarding the return to sports that he released Friday.
Cooper’s guidelines included allowing non-contact sports like baseball, softball and golf to return but limited contact sports like football and basketball to “athletic conditioning drills and practices in which dummy players, sleds, punching bags and similar equipment are used but athletes are not playing the actual sport.”
Tucker said the goal would be for fans to be at games this fall, but that would ultimately depend on how COVID numbers are trending. She said she’ll depend on guidance from Gov. Cooper, the Department of Health and Human Services, the State Board of Education and member schools to determine that.
Tucker said not having fans at football games would be “tough” for high schools’ financial budgets.
“We’re not at the point where we’re folding up the tent for football this fall. We are hopeful that at least we can have some fans.”
“Friday Night Football is a big deal in just about every county in this state,” Tucker said. “And then when you start saying to certain people that, ‘Well, you’re not going to be able to get into this home game,’ then that becomes problematic. So how do you do that in an equitable manner?…As we get closer to that, those will be very real issues and challenges that we will have.”