• Michigan

With Gov. Whitmer reportedly set to close Michigan schools for remainder of academic year, can cancellation of high school sports be far behind?

By: MATTHEW B. MOWERY, March 30, 2020, 10:11 pm

If there is no more school, it’s pretty certain that school sports can’t be far behind.

With Bridge Magazine’s Ron French reporting Monday evening that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was expected to sign an executive order to close Michigan’s schools for the remainder of the academic year because of COVID-19, it won’t be a shock if the MHSAA quickly follows suit. 

[UPDATE: In a one-on-one interview Tuesday with WNEM-TV5, Gov. Whitmer said she would be announcing the plan for the remainder of the school year on Thursday, April 2, the station reported.]

A person with knowledge of the situation told STATE CHAMPS! that the MHSAA executive board met Thursday and the full representative council on Friday, discussing different plans for different scenarios, and that the final plans would be coming early to mid-week.

Presumably that bolt of lightning from MHSAA headquarters would come close on the heels of any announcement from across town at the governor’s office. 

Executive director Mark Uyl has said in public comments that it would be make the association’s decision to finally cancel the remaining sports calendar pretty easy, should schools across Michigan be closed for the remainder of the year.

MHSAA sports have been on ‘pause’ since March 12, and the association has closely followed the lead from the governor’s office throughout, extending the duration of the hiatus as the outbreak worsened across the state. Originally set to continue the winter season with limited spectators, the MHSAA quickly changed that to put the winter postseason on hold less than a day later, then stopped all sports activity — games, practices, weight training, etc. — later extending the period of suspension from April 5 to April 13, as Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders went from advocating social distancing to a stay-at-home order.