Gov. Tom Wolf issued a directive to shut down all non-essential businesses in the state of Pennsylvania on Monday afternoon. This followed an order on Friday to shut down schools for two weeks amid the COVID-19 outbreak.
Following the order from Governor Wolf, the PIAA issued a statement asking schools not to promote off-site workouts and practices.
“We have been informed that some schools’ sport teams may be organizing captains’ practices or informal workouts offsite,” the statement read. “It’s our position this is contrary to the intent of the Governor’s order and these activities are not permitted … It [is] very clear of the intentions of our state government, so please assist them in preventing inappropriate off-site practices or workouts.”
The PIAA had previously suspended its winter sports champions.
Athens Athletic Director JB Sullivan had made it clear to his school’s coaches that practices would have to be put on hold as soon as Wolf made the initial announcement.
“Friday, when Gov. Wolf came out with his address, we immediately reached out to all of our coaches and said ‘While of course sports are extremely important at Athens, the most important thing is the safety of our students and their academics,’” Sullivan said.
“One of the coaches specifically asked about informal workouts, and we talked about how they were frowned upon, and how that wasn’t the intention of PIAA or of Athens. Our idea is to keep the kids from doing that, just for safety plans entirely,” he added.
Sullivan pointed out the difficulties in making plans for the rest of the year is difficult with so little knowledge of the situation as it unfolds. The PIAA statement issued on Monday said more information would be relayed as it becomes available, including plans for the spring season.
“Of course our hope (with) this quarantine is that we get in front of this, and that in two weeks Gov. Wolf says it’s safe for everyone to come back to school. And then we would probably go on a compressed schedule for spring sports,” he said.
“We’re really in kind of a wait-and-see type pattern.”