Apparently the scare was just that: a scare, and nothing more.
After a proposal was brought to the Virginia High School League executive committee that would have banned out of season sports practices, the committee overwhelmingly voted down the proposal by a count of 29-3 with one abstention, per the Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star.
The vote ends a nervous and contentious period for some high school coaches, who feared their offseason practices and training regimes were at risk of being curtailed or canceled altogether. Yet, the overwhelming rejection doesn’t necessarily guarantee that things will continue exactly as they are. As noted by the Free-Lance Star, VHSL spokesman Mike McCall told the media Wednesday that he expects a committee to be formed to study data about offseason practices and their impact on a student-athlete’s health, academic performance and other factors.
That remaining lifeline for those hoping to eliminate or limit out of season practices could lead to proactive negotiations that would cut back the amount of offseason practice permitted. The Free-Lance Star cited coaches raising the possibility of banning practices around the July 4 summer holiday and all other seasonal tryout sessions.
That common sense limitation would seemingly ease some of the stress and responsibility currently put on high school coaches who receive small stipends for their involvement with teams in Virginia (which is far from the case in states such as Texas, where many football coaches earn upwards of $100,000 per year).
Of course, those considerations in turn have to be balanced with the possibilities of AAU involvement, mutlisport high school stars (so many talented athletes still are), and the need for some academic dead periods.
So what comes next? Maybe a transformative move for the VHSL, limiting access and responsibility for coaches in the name of creating a more sustainable work experience for coaches and training approach for players.
Or maybe nothing more will happen at all. After all, as much as the scope of one state’s high school sports may be more limited than national political theater, politics are still politics, and there may be a diplomatic solution to be struck between the two different viewpoints.