LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- You could tell, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear didn't particularly like the plan that the KHSAA board of control approved last week to resume football on Sept. 11 and other fall sports on Sept. 7.
But sometimes you have to be a team player, and given the overwhelming vote (16-2) of the KHSAA board and the wishes of parents, students, coaches and administrators around the state, he said he won't stand in the way of the plan -- though he clearly has doubts about its workability.
"We’re not going to overturn that decision, and it’s not because I think it’s a good decision or a wise decision," Beshear 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."
Beshear noted that at some point you have to give people a chance to execute their own plans.
“We can’t be making every decision for what’s best for folks out of the governor’s office," he said. "It’s going to be incumbent on superintendents, on coaches, on the different groups to make the wisest decisions that they can.”
At the same time, he said that he would be monitoring how sports are run, and would not hesitate to take action if he saw cases of COVID-19 spiking or programs not taking the proper protocols, noting, "I'm not going to let our kids go undefended."
Beshear said he preferred a model such as one being used by the Southeastern Conference, which will not begin play until Sept. 28.
On Monday night, Jefferson County Public School's board will meet to consider its own fall sports schedule, with a proposal on the table to delay the start of fall sports, including football, by one week. Fayette County's school board will be meeting for the same purpose.
Transparency, Beshear said, would be the key.
"In athletics, that’s overall in our school systems,” he said. “People not only deserve to know, but you’re also talking about what may be the long-term health of students and student-athletes. . . . So no trying to hide positives. Everybody has to work with their local health departments. Whether or not there’s a big game coming up doesn’t mean you to get argue with somebody over how many people are quarantined. Don’t do and don’t try that — not with the health of the kids that are on the line.”
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