Another school district cancels fall sports: How many more next?
The superintendent of the West Windsor-Plainsboro school district said he has made the "painful" decision to cancel the fall sports and marching band season because of the coronavirus pandemic.
It is the second district to call off the fall season so far, according to the NJSIAA. Carteret made the decision in July.
Superintendent David Aderhold cited three areas of concern: health, safety, and wellness of student athletes, coaches, spectators, and school community; the social and emotional welfare of teams; and the financial implications for the district.
Among Aderhold's concerns: bringing athletes, coaches and fans from out of town; the lack of late buses because the district will be on a half-day schedule; and violation of Gov. Phil Murphy's order requiring students to wear masks while at school.
He said that the success of the "Last Chance" baseball tournament and the return of youth sports and independent leagues over the summer created a false sense of security as the state's rate of transmission went up over the past few weeks.
"While the cancellation of the fall seasons may be seen as premature, many other organizations have already taken similar steps and there is ample evidence to justify the decision," Aderhold wrote, citing a number of college conferences that have also canceled their fall seasons and 28 people connected to the Rutgers football season who have reportedly tested positive for COVID-19.
Murphy said those cases were the result of attending a house party with other student athletes and not related to athletic activity. Rutgers has not commented on the report.
The NJSIAA said it "respects" the decision and will not penalize any program that does not compete in the fall.
"This said, NJSIAA firmly believes that teenagers are better served by active participation in supervised, structured activities that follow state and other specific protocols – both related to coronavirus and in general," the organization said in a statement to New Jersey 101.5.
More from New Jersey 101.5: