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Hillsborough County Public Schools pushes back start of fall sports by 2 weeks amid coronavirus concerns

Start date now Aug. 10 instead of July 27
Posted at 4:01 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 05:11:32-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- The Hillsborough County Public Schools announced it will push back the start of fall sports amid coronavirus concerns.

The announcement comes just hours after the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) -- the governing body for prep sports in the Sunshine State -- voted to start football and volleyball at the original starting date of Monday, July 27.

Hillsborough County will push back the starting date by two weeks, according to the district's press release. Fall sports in Hillsborough will now start on Monday, August 10 instead of July 27.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: FHSAA votes to start high school football, volleyball at original starting date

Hillsborough Schools Athletic Director Lanness Robinson said the district has heard from parents on both sides. Some support the delay to start sports.

"Also heard from parents saying please don't cancel the season, our kids need the sports for their mental health. They've been locked up in the house for quite some time and are looking for activities outside of the house," said Lanness Robinson.

Robinson said the start of several sports will be delayed.

"Our fall sports, we have volleyball and football. Those are our team sports and the more on the individual basis, we have swimming, golf and cross country," said Robinson.

Student-athletes in Hillsborough County are allowed to continue with conditioning drills on school campuses with increased safety measures, according to the district's press release.

“I recognize how crucial athletics and extracurricular activities are to not only student-athletes, but the school communities overall. While resuming these activities is an important step toward normalcy on our campuses, our district will do so in a guarded manner as we navigate the continuing impact this pandemic has on our local community. This extra time will also allow school administrators to work with athletic directors to build a timeline that allows for a start date of August 10th,” said Superintendent Addison Davis in a press release.

Davis also recommended to delay the start date of classes to August 24. The county's school board will vote on any changes to its academic calendar during Thursday's meeting.