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Mailbag

Social distancing doesn’t

exist in game of football

I appreciated Neil Rudel’s commentary on the PIAA and high school sports last weekend (“PIAA needs to keep using common sense.”)

I would like to share a couple of my thoughts on the subject.

Fact 1: Gov. Wolf’s position is only a recommendation. The governor gave his strong public recommendation that school sports not be conducted at least until Jan. 1, 2021.

Fact 2: Nothing prohibits the PIAA and local school districts from doing whatever they want when it comes to school sports.

My opinion: If the PIAA rejects the governor’s recommendation to close down school sports, they should not be given liability immunity. They should be held accountable for the outcomes of their actions in accordance with the law.

On football, there is no such thing as a socially distanced line of scrimmage, a socially distanced huddle, a socially distanced quarterback sack or a socially distanced gang tackle.

Non-essential activities — I consider high school sports to be one such thing — should not be allowed until a locality has numbers of cases that fall within the state’s “green zone.” Even in the green zone, it is the responsible thing to social distance, wear masks etc.

My prediction: Schools that open for football (and maybe even for other sports) will not finish their seasons before breakouts close them down. I pray Rudel is right and I am wrong. But at this point we do not know which is the case.

We are making students and others the subjects of a mass potentially dangerous, even fatal, experiment. The desires of players, their parents and the community at large do not change this fact.

Many people may favor the openings that Rudel espouses, but common sense is not defined in terms of the numbers of proponents of such an action but by the soundness of the judgment they make.

Tim Mannello

Williamsport

Crowd should include

parents, grandparents

Neil Rudel’s commentary last weekend was spot on. Yes, fan attendance should be the schools’ decision. Yes, fans are very capable of following COVID-avoidance guidelines properly. Yes, fans include grandparents, too.

It is healthy for athletes, their relatives and lovers of sport to come together and share moments of competitive accomplishments.

It is especially healthy for athletes and their relatives to realize returns on investment of much time learning and supporting athletic endeavors.

Phil Chambers, Williamsport

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