Who’s Making the Calls Here?

By Frank Vajcner

Now that I’ve played devil’s advocate (not a fun role), I can go back to a what I’m more comfortable doing.

When Friday’s announcement came out that the MHSAA was postponing football to spring, I was one of many who was not happy. This was more so at the timing, rather than the actual announcement.

Since I’ve had a few days to blow off steam, as well as gather new information, one thing I can’t help but wonder is a question I’ve heard asked at games:

“Who’s making the calls here?!”

Whether I’ve been on the microphone, covering a game for the blog, or officiating, it’s a question I’ve heard fans ask loudly. There have been many times where I would like to respond, but stuff like that isn’t worth my time at a game.

In this situation, the answer may not be as clear cut.

Chris previously stated that the MHSAA’s hand has been forced, despite the fact that a majority of schools had voted to go forth with football this fall. Does this mean that a decision came from higher up than Mark Uyl (presumably Gretchen Whitmer, or the state health department)?

On the education front, Governor Whitmer has left the decision on educating students to be left up to the individual districts thus far. Why can’t the same standard be applied to football and other athletics?

I know people will come out of the woodwork and claim, “You want to sacrifice kids for football?!” or “We’re in a global pandemic!” But let’s all be adults here. Is anyone forcing kids to play? No. If someone isn’t comfortable with playing, then they should decide for themselves without facing scrutiny.

Also, take into consideration that Ohio and Indiana have announced that all fall sports are going on as planned.

Indiana (approximately 84,000 cases) may have lower COVID-19 cases then Michigan (103,000), but Ohio has more with 107,000. If case counts aren’t that big of a concern for Ohio, but a lower total is for Michigan, what or whom is deciding the fate of football season?

My hope is that the MHSAA isn’t handling this like the Big Ten has been at the collegiate level.

Common sense needs to be used here, and the people who should make the calls need to utilize as much when making the call on sports seasons, so no one has to ask loudly and in a not so civil manner:

“Who’s making the calls here?!”

Frank Vajcner

10 thoughts on “Who’s Making the Calls Here?”

  1. I would hate to be a football coach if they do play football in the spring do the students choose football over track/field. Do you choose baseball over football it will a hard choice for the students. What about winter sports and in particular wrestling that is more contact sport than football also what about girls and boys basketball and boys and girls hockey, boys and girls bowling. With the MHSAA only allowing boys soccer, girls volley ball and swimming up north and no telling when downstate opens back, look at hockey rinks, bowling alleys, gyms that are closed and no telling when they will open it is going to be a long school year.

    1. I think most of the football season will finish by the time baseball games actually gets started. I’m guessing football would play from the last week of March until the end of April and then a limited amount of teams would make the playoffs. Baseball games would probably start in early May and they would push the season back a few weeks and have the state finals and by the end of June. I could see track and field meets actually starting in early May as well. Look for basketball to probably finish late in February hopefully there will be wrestling and they can finish around then as well. That’s just a guess.

      Also I recently read that gyms and bowling alleys may open as early as next week. If they open gyms I could see them allowing the kids inside to play volleyball and then soccer would probably be able to play as well.

  2. It comes down to this…cancel till the spring they say…when spring arrives…it will be…cancel till the summer…then next fall…then next winter…this will not stop with big ole gretch at the helm till she is long gone. This Chinese virus will not totally go away…just like the flu…it is here to more than likely stay forever. Let the kids play!!!!

  3. Frustrated Senior Dad

    I am trying to stay positive and support the MHSAA and the Governor’s office. I just wish I could believe that this is all being done for safety not politics, greater good not selfish gains, humanity not power and honesty not control, but this really has got me frustrated.
    What has changed in the last week to make the decision to cancel? The fact that case are some what flat, deaths rates are pretty much non exsistant for kids their age,( I know one is too many) healthy kids are better than couch potato’s and getting your temp taken everyday is Preemptive medicine that they will not get anywhere else. The mental benefits are my biggest concerns for not only sports but social, academic and much much more by not staying the coarse of back to school and sports. Let them play with masks, let them get tested every week, all I ask is try and really think long term and not just stop COVID at all cost. We will never do this with out a vaccine and are we prepared to do this for a year or more or longer?

    Make fans watch via live stream, their cars, social distant around track in lawn chairs. How has covid stayed away from Kroger, Walmart, travel baseball games, with teams from all over the country coming and going,Outside BBall, on and on and on.
    What I fear the most is this Cost of stop C19 at all cost……but it seems Football is taking the brunt of “see what we are doing to keep you safe” and People are just trying to use it as optics BS .

    Frustrated Senior Dad

  4. What do you mean “who is making the calls” ? The MHSAA is a non-profit organization that ultimately at the highest level answers to the state in terms of actual operation. Mark Uyl made it clear where he stood on playing from day 1, it didn’t happen so you can make reasonable assumption on what happened. What is comicial to me is all of these coaches and schools (i.e. TC St Francis) who can break away from the MHSAA and play football? I’m not saying I agree that football should have been postponed but there is such a bigger picture going on then one man’s decision to let a state play a sport. I hope the MHSAA reverses their decision and lets the UP play fall football cause the public health data indicates they should but the region of Wayne/Oakland/Monroe County and a couple of others in the state that indicate that they should not. People are sue-happy and this would provide people with the opportunity for a big settlement if they played and a team had an outbreak. The best thing we can do as parents and fans right now is support the players and coaches as they work hard to prepare for March. Spring is a time of rebirth, what better way to start our spring then high school football where fans, bands, and cheerleaders are allowed !

    I would love to see a poll on here, even if anonymous of the area head coaches and their thoughts on the decision made. They are in the trenches day in day out and would have a more logical opinion then most of us

  5. On June 30th, Gretchen Whitmer suggested you the MHSAA that they should switch the spring and fall seasons.

    Right now, all spring sports which are outdoor, would be playing with no problem. Baseball and softball would have made an easy transition into a school season. This would have opened up time for a full spring football and fall sport season.

    The MHSAA didn’t listen. Didn’t want to make that difficult decision. People want to debate and point out all the states that are playing football this fall. But the fact is, no one knows how things will go for them. Will teams get shut down due to covid, will we see an increase in numbers or deaths? No one can say if states like Ohio are making the right move yet, we will see.
    But one thing would have been for sure, switching the seasons would make a lot more sense in this covid world. It would have made more room for football players to get a full spring football season.
    People want to point fingers and many want to point at Governor Whitmer. But I believe that she was right on June 30.

    1. People want to point fingers and many want to point at Governor Whitmer. But I believe that she was right on June 30.

      She was right because she knew that if push came to shove she was going to shut it down anyway. It was never in the hands of the MHSAA to make the final decision and they should make that clear. They have an administrative function and legislative function; not an executive one.

      1. I agree with this Don.

        We are a BLUE state at the moment. We were never going to play football in the fall.
        We were somewhat duped into being hopeful, but looking back, it was never going to happen.

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