GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines
GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines

GPB's Jon Nelson spoke with GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines about the decision to cancel spring sports and activities.

There will be no spring sports in Georgia public schools in 2020.

That was the decision of the Georgia High School Association Board of Trustees after a 45-minute virtual meeting Thursday. The decision came in the wake of Governor Brian Kemp’s order that all public school students in the state would be kept from school for the remainder of the school year over coronavirus concerns.

GHSA Executive Director Dr. Robin Hines issued a statement following the decision.

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Hines said the hiatus could stretch well past the spring.  

“We don’t know what the summer is going to look like. And the fall, I have concerns there as well,” Hines said.  “We’re still hoping for the best”

“That was not meant to be, so we’re now focusing on what the summer is going to be like and what’s going to happen after July 4, and the kickoff of football practice, the fall sports, and those types of things,” Hines concluded.

Hines said there’s a lot of logistical work for the GHSA to do during the pause so the state’s member schools and sports will be ready to move ahead — whenever they should be able.

Steven Craft oversees more than a dozen schools as director of athletics for Fulton County He called these “uncharted times”, but, said at the same time, people are adjusting and adapting to the new normal.

“The reality of this is that it’s unfortunate for spring sports, the seniors, and all the current athletes,” Craft said. “But once you get to the end of the school year, you really have to start changing your lens and start thinking about the future. But we don’t know what that looks like right now. You don’t know what the next two months are going to be like and what the current guidance is going to be at that time.”

“We don’t know what the summer will hold at this point,” Craft said. “We just have to keep working and all of us have to make the most of this opportunity that we have to focus on the big picture and work toward our goals and what needs to be done”

Glenn White, a teacher, coach, and administrator in Floyd County for close to forty years, is disappointed for the seniors he has this year being in a situation no one has seen before.

“I think it was a decision that was all in the back of our minds, and I would have loved for us to go back to school if we could,” White says. “I agree with the Governor and I think he made the right decision. I just hate it for all our seniors and, if you’re in any of those spring sports, they’re going to miss their seasons. I think that’s sad. And I really do hate that, but I think it’s mandatory to do it in this situation. I think we had to do it.”

“I work with all the coaches in our school system and talk to a lot of the coaches here in northwest Georgia and they were all in a holding pattern- thinking, possibly, if we could get back in April for some kind of modified championships, could that be a possibility? Those same coaches were also thinking about the relationships they have with their kids- especially in team sports. And all that is missing- working with kids and being with kids- all those relationships are what make high school athletics so unique,” White concluded.

Not being with kids on a daily basis doesn’t feel right to White and it’s an unfamiliar feeling a lot of families, schools, administrators, and coaches are all feeling right now.

The 10 sports that are listed as spring participation by the GHSA are baseball, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, riflery, slow-pitch softball, soccer, tennis, track and field, and wheelchair track.