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KDE meets to discuss fall sports safety, not overrule KHSAA

Posted at 3:22 PM, Aug 28, 2020

FRANKFORT, Ky. (LEX 18) — When the Kentucky Department of Education revealed its plan to meet on Friday, it had parents, coaches, and student-athletes concerned that the department's members might overrule the KHSAA's decision to go ahead with a fall sports season.

But department chair Lu Young put those concerns to bed early on.

"Despite rumors and social media chatter, you will see that no such item appears on this agenda," Young stressed at the beginning of today's meeting.

The KDE merely wanted to hear more about the plan from KHSAA Director Julian Tackett, who came armed with a lengthy slide show presentation, covered many of the safety issues the KDE had concerns over, including how to shut down a season if the need arises.

That is something Tackett is hoping to avoid at all costs, as he discussed just how hard it was to send everyone home during the state basketball tournament back in March.

Dr. Steven Stack also joined today's meeting and said he's skeptical about our ability, not only as a state but as a nation, to get back to school and sports safely.

"A low rate of community transmission is a factor," Stack said. "The United States is not low. In fact, compared to most other developed nations, we are doing terribly as a nation overall."

Stack expressed some real concern about football and soccer, but mostly wrestling when it comes to hitting the mat this winter.

"Those two people, if one walks in, infected two people will walk out infected almost with certainty," he said.

That might be something for Tackett, Young and their respective board members to address later. For now, KDE will accept the decision and hope for the best.

"(Playing sports) not only benefits their physical health, but it's also a social outlet and teaches the students the value of team-work and an outlet where they find lifelong friends and mentors," Young added.