CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (CLARKSVILLENOW) – On Thursday, June 5, TSSAA’s Legislative Council met and failed to pass a motion by a 6-6 vote to eliminate the high school dead period.
The dead period is currently set for June 22-July 5. During the dead period, all high school athletic facilities cannot be used and coaches will not be allowed to have any interaction with their athletes.
Rumors have swirled recently that the traditional dead period would be lifted as a result of the longer than usual off-season layoff due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The KHSAA (Kentucky High School Athletic Association) has already chosen to do away with its dead period.
The news comes nearly a week after CMCSS (Clarksville Montgomery County School System) announced it would not permit in-person conditioning or practices throughout the month of June.
The parents of the athletes from various Clarksville schools have since taken to social media to express their disappointment. They have also reached out to their local school board leaders in an attempt to explain their concerns behind the decision.
“While it is understandable that precautions need to be taken and adjustments will need to be made, the risks being taken by postponing the start of in-person practice is going to directly impact their (athletes) mental health, their physical health and their future,” mentioned in a letter signed by parents, players, alumni and supporters of the Clarksville High football program.
“By reversing the decision and allowing in-person practices to start immediately, our local student-athletes will be provided the opportunity to train and prepare to compete in order to meet their highest potential.”
Many surrounding counties and a vast majority of Middle Tennessee school systems have already begun to lift restrictions on workouts, leaving Montgomery County athletes behind the curve.
In an email addressed to the CMCSS Director of Schools, Mayor Jim Durrett and Clarksville school board members, the Clarksville High volleyball booster club also voiced their opposition of the cancellation of high school sports until July.
“We strongly disagree with this decision and ask that it be reconsidered,” stated in a message signed by players, parents and supporters of the Clarksville High volleyball team. “We trust our coaches and student athletes to follow the appropriate CDC, state government and local government policies to train and practice in a safe manner.”
The TSSAA has already left it up to each local Board of Education, Director of Schools and/or Head of Schools, as to how much they allow coaches in their individual districts to conduct face-to-face activities with athletes.
The NFHS (National Federation of State High School Associations) has also recently handed down guidelines and recommendations to how state high school associations should go about handling the reopening of high school athletics. These include proposed hygiene practices, transportation to and from events, social-distancing suggestions during contests and a tiered approach to who should be allowed to attend events.
Supporters from the two Clarksville High fall sport programs also included the suggestions by the NFHS in their proposal for a return to action.
At this time, all indications point to CMCSS coaches and players having to wait until July at the earliest to begin preseason team workouts.