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PIAA's Executive Director Sends Letter To Gov. Tom Wolf, Says Student-Athletes Will Find Other Outlets If No Fall Sports

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania school sports' governing body has told Gov. Tom Wolf it wants to talk with his aides about "possible options for fall sports" among its member schools.

The letter from Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association executive director Robert Lombardi provided to The Associated Press on Wednesday argued that school-sanctioned sports are in a better position than recreational leagues to ensure compliance with pandemic safety measures.

"While, due to outbreaks in different areas of the state, some schools may not be able to play some or all sports, we believe there remains a viable path to permit students in many schools the opportunity to participate in interscholastic athletics in a controlled, healthy and safe manner," Lombardi wrote in the letter dated Tuesday.

A spokesperson for Wolf said the administration has been in touch with the PIAA about having further discussions.


The PIAA's board on Friday delayed for two weeks making a decision about whether to follow Wolf's nonbinding recommendation that youth sports be canceled until January. The board is allowing voluntary workouts but not mandatory fall sports activities until its next meeting on Aug. 21.

Lombardi said youth sports have been going on this summer with no COVID-19 outbreaks that he knows about.

If there are no fall school sports, Lombardi said, student-athletes will find other outlets.

"Halting interscholastic athletics will not eliminate the risk, it will simply shift it to other venues that lack sufficient oversight," Lombardi wrote.

(Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)

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