DETROIT – The superintendent of Detroit public schools sent a letter to Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, asking her to reinstate a fall high school football season across the state.
Nikolai Vitti, superintendent of the Detroit Public Schools Community District, addressed the letter to Whitmer and the Michigan High School Athletic Association.
“(Athletic director James Alexander) and I were shocked when you and the MHSAA made the decision to shift the football season to the spring,” Vitti wrote. “This announcement was made after you made strong public statements only a few days before stating the consensus was that players, families and schools wanted to play throughout the state; teams, including coaches and players, were applying the right COVID-19 safety standards; and that high school football was not comparable to college football considering the Big Ten’s decision to move the season to the spring.”
MHSAA announced Aug. 17 that the high school football season would not be played as scheduled in the fall due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Officials said at the time that they hope the season can be played this spring.
“After the surprising reversal to shift the season to the spring, vague reasons were provided, including rising concerns from athletic directors across the state with playing, limited audiences for games and the lack of clear support from the governor and the state health department,” Vitti wrote. “Factually, nothing changed from a player’s health perspective or risk analysis from strongly stating football would be played to it being postponed.”
Vitti said he believes politics were involved in the decision to cancel football.
“This has led everyone, including myself, to believe politics were played and that the MHSAA abdicated its responsibility to make athletic decisions and instead deferred to the governor in closed door conversations instead of supporting student-athletes, coaches and their families,” Vitti wrote.
You can read Vitti’s full letter below.