COVID Causes Concern


Grant Dorland, Sports editor

The State of Michigan High School Athletic Association(MHSAA) postponed contact sports until late February which casts doubt into the season and how it will play out. The Comets’ basketball program is working to get the players back on the court but is still waiting on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to get on board.


MHSAA executive director Mark Uyl released a statement on January 22nd outlining the updates for the state of Michigan spring sports and the direction it’s headed. Mr. Uyl says that the MHSAA is “FULLY committed” to getting spring sports back in action as soon as possible. What effects this will have on the ruling is unclear, the MHSAA is still waiting on the all-clear from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. However, the director is receiving immense support from former coaches and players who are all eager to see the sports season kickoff. The “Let Them Play” initiative represents thousands of hopeful players, coaches, and parents yearning to see their kids or peers compete against one another. This group met at the Michigan State capital Saturday, January 30th just to get a chance to compete and they were met with support from a former high school coach Nate Oats who now coaches at the University of Alabama.


Mr. Oats was a coach of the Romulus basketball program out of Detroit coaching for many years and taking them to a state championship team and playing a big role in the success of many Michigan athletes over the years. He sent a letter to the MHSAA as well as the state of Michigan stating his concern with the pause on contact sports and the effect that it could have on Michigan athletes all over the state. Oats says “I can say without question or hesitation that Michigan kids are missing out on college opportunities.” Coming from a college coach that recruits student-athletes across the nation this carries a lot of weight considering he is having to stop recruiting kids from our state just because of this decision. 


Oats continued to voice his concern saying, “I can’t imagine the mental health aspects of the continuous never-ending delays for these young men and women.”. This is a widely considered point. The immense pressure these athletes already put on themselves can be counterproductive to their ultimate goal to be great at the next level. Losing out on a scholarship to someone you may be more talented than just because you missed out on important games during the most competitive part of your schedule.


The MHSAA postponed the season twice putting a lot of uncertainty on the coaches and players. The success of the teams will depend on how the coaching staffs of each program handle this situation in such questionable times. This season will be an interesting test of the players’ resilience and competitiveness.