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Former WPIAL Executive Director Says Canceling Fall Sports Would Have Far-Reaching Impacts

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) - The Governor's recommendation to hold off on high school sports until at least January is just the latest gut punch to social life in Western Pennsylvania.

While all sports are covered by the recommendation and the PIAA will decide today what to do, a loss of Friday Night Lights would have far-reaching impacts.

Former WPIAL Executive Director Tim O'Malley says it impacts more than just the athletes.

"It's as important for the extracurricular kids too, the band, the cheerleaders, and those people whose involvement centers around interscholastic athletics in the fall. So its extremely disappointing. It's disheartening, but we're in a unique situation."

And the impact goes beyond the boundaries of the schools and their families.

"I can tell you an awful lot of people go out on Friday nights and their social life revolves around what goes on Friday whether it's their relationship with the kids who play the game, the kids that participate in the band the cheerleaders there's a lot of excitement and interest that these people on a continuous bases display, it's going to be missed."

At one point high school games on just a Friday night in the fall would draw more than a hundred thousand people to stadiums across Southwestern Pennsylvania.

O'Malley wonders if the football and basketball seasons could be moved to January and beyond just for this year?

A lot of decisions have to be made by the PIAA and local school districts.

Pittsburgh Public Schools have shelved fall sports already.


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