Just minutes after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced New York schools and universities would continue distance learning through the end of the academic year, the New York State Public High School Athletic Association followed with the announcement that all of the state’s sections had canceled their spring sports seasons as of Friday, May 1.
“I would like to commend the work of the 11 NYSPHSAA section executive directors who have worked tirelessly to benefit the students in their sections. Many throughout our state were hopeful students would have the chance to participate in high school athletics this spring and return to some sense of normalcy,” Robert Zayas, executive director of NYSPHSAA, said in a statement from the organization. “Unfortunately, the COVID-19 crisis has taken a toll on many aspects of our lives and high school athletics is one of them. At this time, we must focus our attention on the health and safety of all New Yorkers. Please stay safe and stay positive during this difficult time.”
The decision arrived four days after NYSPHSAA announced the cancellation of its 2020 spring state championships, which still left the possibility for regional sections and local leagues to potentially stage competitions.
State and local administrators had previously said that students must return to school buildings before spring sports could begin. With Cuomo’s announcement regarding schools during his daily media conference, the announcement from NYSPHSAA was thought by many to be an inevitability.
The wait was just more than 20 minutes before NYSPHSAA released its statement on Twitter.