The Frankenstein that is fall football in Colorado is getting another jolt of electricity.
Within three days of a unanimous vote by the CHSAA Board of Directors to keep the 2020-21 high school sports amended calendar as is, and murky details surrounding the hangup between the CHSAA and Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ COVID-19 task force since, there was a bit of unity late Friday night as both parties suggested on social media that they were working together on variances to allow football and several other extra-curricular activities back into the mix of the fall slate.
At his Friday afternoon press conference, Gov. Polis made it clear that the window was still open for the two sides to get on the same page and provide the opportunity to get football going as long as districts around the state could be ready. He noted that he’d been on the phone with CHSAA commissioner Rhonda Blanford-Green several times since the Tuesday vote, and that there would be ongoing conversation about football, with Colorado being one of less than a dozen states that have no plan in place for playing in 2020.
Later, in a message on Twitter, Polis added, “We are currently working with @CHSAA to approve variances for football and field hockey, and we will work together to develop guidelines or variances for additional sports at a later date and indoor sports when they can safely be played.”
The CHSAA official Twitter reiterated the negotiations, saying “We are resubmitting modified variances & safety implementation plans previously submitted to the Gov’s COVID Team for football, spirit & volleyball in hopes they will be reconsidered. We will also submit variances for field hockey, gymnastics, soccer & unified bowling.”
Football was moved to Season C of the 2020-21 calendar on Aug. 4, which pushed it to late February. However, the rising pushback from coaches, athletes and parents — in addition to the reversal of prior decisions in some states — generated a reconsideration period earlier this week.
Citing a great many factors, the board voted to keep the current calendar in place. The rally cries have only increased since.
Though the statements from both parties appeared to be a step forward, there was no indication of a timeline in which information would be gathered and presented to the board for a re-vote.