LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - You can play or maybe you can’t. That conflicting message about fall sports in Kentucky the last few weeks actually led to some threatening phone calls Thursday to the Kentucky Department of Education. The threats, in some 12,000 phone calls, came in between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The KDE has called a special meeting for tomorrow to discuss the decision to play. Kevin Brown, the KDE interim commissioner, said the goal is certainly not to cancel fall sports and they will be listening to the experts.
“I want to make sure everyone understands,” Brown said, “everyone is coming from a place of concern for students.”
Brown understands emotions are high but is asking for cooler heads in a time of a pandemic.
“Tomorrow (Friday’s meeting) is not going to change the KHSAA Board of Control’s decision about playing sports,” Brown added. “It is to possibly issue a written letter of concern or of concerns that the State Board of Education may have after hearing from the Board of Controls commissioner, Dr. Stack (KY Public Health Commissioner Steven Stack) and superintendents.”
Montrell Bross, a Male High football parent, is among the calm heads, but the father of Bulldogs running back Jaylin Bross says there’s plenty of frustration out there as Kentucky players, parents, and coaches feel in limbo.
“Let’s just make the decision so that we as a family, we as a household, are free to make whatever arrangements we are capable of making,” Bross said.
First, the KHSAA Board of Control voted to keep the fall sports schedule, it had already voted on. Then, Governor Beshear decided not to overrule it. Next, local boards of education voted to play. For example, JCPS voted 5-to-2 to accept an adjusted schedule that started slightly later than the rest of the state. Just as coaches and teams started getting confident, the KDE called a special meeting to discuss it all.
“Why continue to play with emotions of me and my fellow athletes?” Jaylin Bross tweeted. “As a senior, this is just terrible to watch.”
Montrell Bross hopes the KDE looks at all COVID-19 health concerns including what happens if students don’t get to play for Kentucky schools and feel forced to play club sports without the strict safety protocols. He believes the COVID-19 spread will be much worse.
“Those students can be in a controlled environment versus going out to play 7-on-7 in a park somewhere or playing on a club team,” Montrell Bross said of Kentucky’s high school teams.,
Interim Commissioner Brown says that concern will be discussed at the meeting which starts Friday at Noon.