The Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association, as promised, issued a statement Monday regarding its previous stance on the postponements of its high school basketball state tournaments and spring sports seasons.
There was no new information.
“At this time nothing has changed in terms of school closures, so the OSSAA’s position outlined before remains unchanged,” the brief statement said.
That’s all great, except that the hope that I talked about when the OSSAA told everyone that the basketball state tournaments and spring sports were still a viable possibility back on March 17 is pretty much gone.
State Superintendent Joy Hofmeister is proposing that students finish out the school year using distance learning (who knows what exactly this means or how it will work). With her plan, education would continue without traditional in-person instruction or extracurricular activities.
That means no more high school sports, folks.
The State Board of Education votes on this measure today, and I can’t see them going against what Hofmeister has recommended.
To this sportswriter, I think the OSSAA was biding its time to see what the state was going to do. Why should they cancel hours before the state tournaments were scheduled to be played and look like the bad guy?
The same goes for the spring sports announcement on March 17. The OSSAA wanted the state to make the decision for them.
I can’t say I blame the OSSAA really, but dang. I might have had my basketball-colored blinders on, but darn it, I had hope on March 17. And I know many of the local basketball players from Ada High School, Latta High School and Vanoss High School did too.
I feel bad for the seniors on those state tournament squads and the seniors who play spring sports as well.
I get it. COVID-19 is nasty. I really do. And deep down, most of the high school players I have had the fortune to interact with and cover in these sports pages probably get it too.
That doesn’t mean it’s any easier to swallow.