TSSAA votes to keep 2020 dead period in place

Published: Jun. 4, 2020 at 5:46 PM EDT
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The Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association announced Thursday it would keep its upcoming two-week dead period in place.

The TSSAA Legislative Council held a special meeting to discuss the summer dead period - a time when no organized athletic activities are allowed to be held on school grounds and coaches can't have any contact with student-athletes.

The council called the meeting to discuss waiving the dead period because of student-athletes' loss of physical activities during the coronavirus pandemic and was called after the Kentucky High School Athletic Association eliminated its dead period a week prior.

Thursday's motion to make changes to the 2020 dead period failed by a 6-6 vote, keeping the dead period intact from Monday, June 22 through Sunday, July 5.

"We don't ever want to put sports before families, and many families make plans for the dead period every year," said TSSAA Executive Director Bernard Childress in a press release. "This is not the first year we've had the dead period and as eager as coaches are to get back to their routine, the Council ultimately felt that there wasn't a strong enough case for doing away with it this year."

Hardin Valley Academy principal Rob Speas serves on the Legislative Council and voted to eliminate the dead period out of a concern for the safety of student-athletes.

"These kids have not been working out with their coaches for the past three months. Taking two weeks off before their season starts up without a solid base to their conditioning concerns me with heat acclimation," Speas said in an email to WVLT.

"We discussed the pros and cons of eliminating the dead period. Feedback from around the state was split on whether or not we just keep the deadline for this year. The vote was equally split right down the middle. A tie vote means that we don’t make any changes, so the dead period will stay in place," Speas added.

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