Will the extended dead period for the NCHSAA push back the start of football?

Updated: May. 27, 2020 at 8:58 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - On Tuesday, the NCHSAA extended their dead period from June 1st to June 15th, but that doesn’t mean the start of the football season will be pushed back as well.

The extension just gives coaches and school personnel time to get ready for a possible start to summer workouts once the dead period ends on the 15th.

“We know these work outs will look different than most traditional summer workouts and we want to make sure our full membership is on the same page about what is allowed and what is not during this initial restarting period,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “Coaches need time to plan these different workouts and the time to secure the necessary sanitary materials such as hand sanitizer, wipes, and implement hand washing stations and sanitary hydration practices.”

The first official practice for football is not until August 1st and that still can happen if things continue to improve with this pandemic even with the extended dead period.

A lot of rumors floating around how the football season will play out this season including a feeling at football could be moved to the spring.

“Moving a sports season is the last resort,” said Tucker.

“If we are talking about a football season ending at the end of May, beginning of June, do we just turn around in 2 to 3 weeks and get ready for football again,” said Butler head coach Brian Hales. “I just think that would bring a lot more problems.”

But what if things don’t start on time and the season has to be delayed until September? The state has been working on that plan.

“We try to operate with the end in mind,” said Tucker. “If we are delayed, we would look at shortening the season. Depending on how deep into September we could go, then it might would mean that we would have to look at fewer teams in the playoffs.”

And no one wants that which is why this extended dead period could help in getting things started on time. Prepare now in hopes of having success during this summer workout period and this time will be key.

“You see some kids and they are working out and that’s great,” said coach Hales. “You have some kids that have to take care of their siblings and some kids that don’t have the places to workout. They don’t have the opportunity so we are going to have to be very cognitive of that once we are allowed to get back.”

Proper cleaning and sanitizing are major issues programs will have to address in the coming weeks but what about the potential for face coverings while practicing and playing. Nothing is set in stone as of yet but their is a potential that it could become a part of the game.

“Whether you can imagine it or not, you got to be ready for it,” said coach. “It may not be easy and it may not be comfortable, but if we want to play this year, then safety is going to be of the utmost importance. Whether you like it or not you have to be ready for it.”

The safety guidelines for the NCHSAA should be given to the schools a week before the dead period ends so we will know more about how summer workouts will look at that point.

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