LHSAA releases revised statement regarding COVID-19 mitigation with no mention of fines, penalties

Local Sports

LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine.
William Weathers | The News

(The Livingston Parish News) – Louisiana High School Athletic Association Executive Director Eddie Bonine issued a revised statement Friday regarding COVID-19 mitigation measures involving athletics, and the new memo doesn’t mention potential fines for schools who don’t adhere to those mitigation measures.

On Wednesday, the LHSAA released a memo stating failure to adhere to mitigation measures (social distancing, mask wearing) “will result in a $500.00 fine and the loss of hosting and potentially participating in any further football games and/or winter sports (basketball, wrestling, soccer, and powerlifting).”

However, the revised memo makes no mention of potential fines or penalties and is worded accordingly: “We strongly recommend member schools continue to make a concerted effort to ask those attending your event to wear a face covering and social distance when at all possible. Common sense should prevail.”

The revised memo reiterates athletic events will remain at 25 percent crowd capacity under the state’s current COVID-19 guidelines, with Bonine noting Gov. John Bel Edwards recognized an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across the state during a Zoom meeting Wednesday.

“I know this, if we want to continue interscholastic participation as we currently know it, we need to take any/all precautionary measures to do so,” the LHSAA statement reads.

“It is our intent to not lose the momentum we have gained with fall sports and the recent beginning of our winter sports season.

“In closing, I am well aware none of us want to be the Coronavirus Police Task Force, but I ask, please do what you can to help with COVID-19 recommendations and guidelines suggested for these events.”

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