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UIL executives provide updates during Legislative Council Meeting, pass two resolutions

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HOUSTON - The UIL Legislative Council held a special meeting on Friday morning.

During the meeting, UIL Executive Director Dr. Charles Breithaupt gave an update on the current plans of the UIL as we push into the month of May and the summer.

"Even though we lost the spring seasons and the basketball tournament, we are hoping with all hope that we can resume sometime this summer with our offseason conditioning programs and non-school opportunities to work with students," Breithaupt said.

The UIL was diligent through the spring to keep updating plans as more information was available through the weeks until ultimately canceling the spring sports on April 17 for the remainder of the 2019-2020 athletic calendar.

As far as sports returning, Breithaupt said the UIL is working on plans for every scenario.

"We are both making plans for the regular start of school and our activities and then if there is a delayed start what we might do," he said. "We're also planning for what might happen if we start and have to stop again. If that does happen our staff is up to the task and I know that you'll work with us to help make these things happen.

"Our plans are focused on the 2020-2021 season."

Of course, the biggest question right now is if and when the Texas High School football season could start? When could practices begin?

"We're not going to start any practices in the summer until we see that the NFL, college football, NBA, MLB or any of the pro sports. None of those have resumed play," Breithaupt said. "I saw yesterday that Little League Baseball cancelled the Little League World Series. So, that tells you that across the world activities have been cancelled.

"We're not going to get ahead of the curve, we're going to make sure our students are safe, just as you are."

The UIL Legislative Council did vote on two action items on Friday morning, which were both passed.

The first resolution grants more authority to Breithaupt as the Executive Director of the UIL "to make adjustments to UIL rules as needed related to the COVID-19 crisis".

According to UIL Deputy Director Jamey Harrison the resolution is limited in three ways with an expiration date, limited to making adjustments due to COVID-19 and it states that the UIL staff will communicate with the Legislative Council when it is being utilized.

So, what changes could be made due to this resolution?

"Some examples include scheduling and start dates for specific sports," Harrison said. "We recognize that students have missed a lot of time with their band directors, coaches and academic sponsors. They've missed a lot of time in their activities. So, where we restrict access to kids and opportunities for our school staff to work with kids, I fully intend to relax those restrictions. Give them some opportunity to make up for this missed time, whenever it is that we can safely convene again and conduct workouts for example.

"I expect to see some significant alterations to coaching restrictions in the summer and in the fall as we move forward, allowing kids and coaches to make up for as much as this missed time as they have and as we can offer."

Currently, UIL rules state that during the summer, students can attend no more than one two-hour strength and conditioning program per day, Monday through Thursday, when school is out. Students are also limited to two hours per week of sport specific skill instruction, conducted by a school coach or coaches, with a one hour maximum in any one given day.

The second resolution passed concerned student physicals.

According to Harrison, the proposal stated a student who was cleared in a physical examination in the 2019-2020 school year can continue to participate this year, "unless there is some indication on a student's medical history form that would require further medical evaluation".

For students who haven't received a physical to be cleared for participation, Harrison said they will have to get one for the 2020-2021 athletic year.

The next UIL Legislative Council meeting is set for June 16.