MHSAA Hand Forced

On Friday afternoon, the MHSAA announced that football was being moved to the spring. Even though schools had voted by a solid majority (60-40) in a survey on Thursday to try and move forward in the fall, the MHSAA and the group’s “Advisory Committee” moved to shut things down.

Make no mistake, while I wanted football to move forward in the fall, I support the MHSAA. This decision appears to have been made at a higher level, most likely coming from Governor Whitmer’s office. It does look like someone in the Governor’s office assured the governing body of educational athletics in the state of Michigan that all football-related activities will be shut down in the state, including youth, AAU, or for-profit organizations.

Hopefully, this isn’t just wishful thinking. These organizations are a direct threat to educational athletics as we know it and while they normally work hand in hand with the MHSAA on player development, these profiteers were ready with their marketing efforts as soon as the word came down on Friday. Let’s hope these companies are genuine, but let’s face it, this stuff isn’t free.

Early next week, we should get an idea of how spring football could possibly look. I would expect an abbreviated schedule of 5 -6 regular season games with every team making the playoffs. One of the things that concerns me, is will there be a complete reshuffling of the schedules (every team or league for themselves) or will the MHSAA suggest that we keep our fall schedules in order and simply play the weeks they suggest? For instance, in a 5 game scenario; teams could play their week 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 or even do weeks 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8. This would certainly help scheduling issues, but may prevent some rivalries being played although week 1 of the playoffs could alleviate some of those issues if the MHSAA match some rivals against each other.

Finally, I guess the thing that bothers me most about this, is the lack of leadership by our state government. Notice how nothing has really come straight out of the Governor’s office or the State Legislature regarding athletics. Governor Whitmer could have made a decision on this one way or the other by making an announcement as to whether sports can happen or not. After all, those decisions are based on facts and science, right? Don’t kid yourselves, people, this was “political silence” at it’s best. By in large, Whitmer has a solid approval rating so why would she risk making a statement that could affect her approval rating negatively? Just keep quiet and put pressure on others to make the decision for you. The MHSAA obliged, quite frankly, they had too.

Chris Schultz

19 thoughts on “MHSAA Hand Forced”

  1. NEWSFLASH!!! COVID-19 is not going anywhere soon. In fact, it will be here in the spring…then what? We are going to have to find a way to live with this virus. Teams were doing a great job in preparing for the season by following all the guidance provided by the CDC and other medical professionals. Now they pull the rug from under them because of political reasons?! As a parent, I am ready and willing to sign a waiver if needed.

    1. I believe the Governor believes she is doing the right thing.

      Democrats and Republicans think different. We, as a state, elected a Democrat. It is something we will have to live with.

  2. Here’s to hoping spring football will look more like real football with bands and fans in the stands
    I believe Lee Harvey acted alone also

  3. Putting on my tinfoil hat here but was it just coincidence that Whitmer and the GOP came to an agreement about opening schools just after the announcement to shut down football?

    Shame that the MHSAA made the announcement on a friday as they’re walking out the door to avoid questions. A definite lack of leadership

  4. What’s disappointing, I think we all knew football was going to be cancelled, and the MHSAA had from March till now to come up with a plan, which they didn’t. Now they’re going to work on a plan which they said could take 2-3 months, and in the meantime football programs are left in limbo until they come up with something. Again, disappointing.
    If Covid has taught us anything, it’s leaders are afraid to lead.

    1. I disagree, I think it has been discussed since March that this could be a possibility. I had heard rumors months and months ago that this was being discussed just in case, but I truly believed that fall sports would be played in the fall. I think there is a plan in place and will be unveiled soon.

  5. Since everybody without an ax to grind understands that this decision came from Governor Whitmer why would any serious person expect there to be spring football? 16 of the 17 states that have canceled football have Democratic governors. I disagree with you about hoping that Whitmer shuts down the entrepreneurs that are hoping to profit by providing our children an opportunity that they can’t otherwise have. And while the MHSAA cannot be held accountable for the decision they should be blamed for providing cover for Whitmer. They could have forced her hand.

      1. No, They are not. Transparency would be telling us why they disregarded the vote. They chose not to and therefore were not transparent.

        Whitmer has handled the pandemic in a very political and selfish way. Each decision whether announced or force behind the scenes such as this one appears to have been has been about her political gain. No aspect of our society (except for pot shops in the lottery) have gone unscathed in her obviously ambitious drive for power.

        This is just another example of this (high school kids are being hurt this time) to further her political ambitions.

      2. Chris, what happens if the MHSAA refused to cancel? (Legitimate question, as I don’t know the answer.) If the Governor was calling for football to be canceled, why isn’t it fair to assume that the MHSAA could have punted back to her? What do they have to lose? Everyone knew it was ultimately the Governor’s call. What did she have to hang over them?

        1. I think she would have canceled football for high schools and let football continue elsewhere. The fear would have been outside influences and not educational athletics. As the articles says, maybe there were some assurances from someone inside the Governors office.

        2. Funding is what they have to lose. The MHSAA is looking at cuts of up to 75% of their staff. They need to be on Gov’s good side. They jumped on the grenade for her.

          1. 1. They didn’t have to… they chose to. What does the Gov have to give that they have a reason to stay on her good side. How much State budget money goes to the MHSAA. What mechanism is she going to use to ensure that For-Profit Football leagues can’t develop/ move forward ?

          2. Question: What mechanism is she going to use to ensure that For-Profit Football leagues can’t develop/ move forward ? Answer: She can close for-profit down with an Executive order through her Emergency Declaration powers.

  6. What was the purpose of the vote if MHSAA appears to have disregarded the results of that vote? No transparency = no trust/credibility. I am disheartened to see the MHSAA allowed itself to lose so much credibility and has failed to communicate any solid reasoning. “Too much uncertainty ” doesn’t cut it for solid reasoning since it is affecting these kids’ mental and emotional health.

      1. Selectively. People tend to use “transparency” as a cover. They like to tout all of the things they are showing you. The problem comes when you find out what they haven’t shown you.

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