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Change of heart: MHSAA may allow Michigan high school football this fall with Whitmer’s OK

Leaders had a change of heart after seeing how other states fared with football this season
MHSAA Football.
MHSAA Football.(WILX)
Published: Aug. 31, 2020 at 7:52 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WJRT) - Friday night lights may come to Michigan high school football stadiums this fall after all.

A spokesman for the Michigan High School Athletic Association said on Monday the organization is revisiting its decision to postpone football until the spring. However, teams won’t be able to play games unless Gov. Gretchen Whitmer adjusts an executive order.

The MHSAA spokesman said leaders had a change of heart after seeing how other states in the region have handled football with little to no problems this fall.

One of Whitmer’s coronavirus executive orders prevents outdoor competitions without social distancing. The MHSAA says that order would have to be repealed or amended to allow football.

Boys’ soccer, volleyball and swimming/diving competitions in much of the Lower Peninsula also are on hold due to restrictions in that order.

The MHSAA spokesman said schools could still play a spring football season if administrators are not comfortable playing in the fall. They also may consider having Upper Peninsula football teams play this fall while the Lower Peninsula waits until spring.

“Everything is on the table,” the spokesman said.

If Whitmer gives approval, the MHSAA plans to have at least a two-week period for teams to resume practices and training before starting games. Officials aren’t sure how that would affect the season schedule.

Currently, teams are allowed 16 practices in helmets only before Oct. 31. The remainder of the proposed spring football schedule -- if necessary -- has not been announced.

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