PIAA’s decision leaves many administrators scratching their heads

Posted on July 31, 2020 in Newspaper.

By Matthew DeGeorge

If you looked at Wednesday’s declaration by the PIAA about the future of fall high school sports and wondered what’s next, you’re not alone. Many school administrators are in the same boat.

The PIAA’s determination ceded scheduling control to school districts in the face of whatever the COVID-19 pandemic looks like in their part of the state. But the line between flexibility and lack of guidance is thin. And while the PIAA’s guiding ethos is “maximizing the athletic opportunities for students across the Commonwealth,” many districts are left to figure it out with limited guidance.

“It’s frustrating because you look at the PIAA and you would think that the PIAA would want to create a level playing field for all and equity across the state,” Garnet Valley athletic director Seth Bruner said Thursday. “And I understand where they’re coming from and why they’re doing it and that it’s not an issue in some parts of the state. But speaking for me at Garnet Valley, I look to them for guidance. And it’s easier if we’re on the same page as a league or a county instead of on our own island. Because if something happens at Garnet Valley, it affects all of our opponents.”

“As a parent, it didn’t really do any good for us,” said Penncrest AD Chip Olinger, who has three kids, including a high school junior, in the Garnet Valley district. “There’s really been no clarity. Things change weekly … Yesterday was just basically in my mind, putting all of us in a really difficult position. These are guidelines. They’re not rules.”

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