Senate Majority Leader, Education Chair Respond to Governor’s Surprise Announcement on Youth Sports, Call on PIAA to Continue with Plan for Safe Athletics

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-34) and Senate Education Committee Chair Wayne Langerholc Jr. (R-35) today issued the following statements regarding Governor Wolf’s recommendation that no school sporting events take place until January 2021:

“Governor Wolf once again made a unilateral, ill-considered decision that caught everyone involved off guard. This time it was parents, schools, students and the PIAA scrambling to make sense of his surprise and rash pronouncement,” Corman said.

“Just last week, the PIAA, after careful consideration, said high school fall sports could proceed without spectators. The Administration said it would be issuing guidance for fall sports to take place. Then, without explanation, Governor Wolf pulls an abrupt about-face,” said Corman. “I do not think it is right to put this decision back in the laps of the PIAA and I call on the PIAA to stay the course they decided could be safely issued last week.”

“Students who have been left without structure and positive purpose for five months had no reason to suspect that the governor would deny them the ability to compete in high school sports,” he said.  “Time and time again, we have heard from our constituents about the important and essential role school activities and sports play in children’s health and well-being.  These kids need this normalcy back in their lives during such difficult times.”

“The reason this out-of-the-blue announcement is such a shock to families is that so many have been safely participating in athletic events and youth leagues since their counties entered the governor’s ‘green phase’ of coronavirus mitigation. It is perfectly understandable that they are now confused and angry,” Corman said.

“This tongue-in-cheek comment by the governor has once again caused angst and confusion within our school system. Our schools have been preparing for a safe return to school and athletics. Summer youth programs and recreational sports programs have operated for months without an uptick in cases,” said Langerholc. “I call on the PIAA to continue on the safe path we’ve implemented many months ago.”  


CONTACTS: Jenn Kocher (Sen. Corman)
                         Gwenn Dando (Sen. Langerholc)


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