DALLAS - Dallas ISD has announced it will put all extracurricular activities on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Some student-athletes are planning to protest that decision.
James Madison High School football star, Jayleen Record, is ready for his senior season. He’s committed to play at SMU next year, and said football provides life-changing opportunities for some students.
“Football makes them say, ‘Hey, I want to make an A in class so I can play.’ Not just Football, volleyball, cross country. They’re all fall sports.”
The thing is, Dallas ISD announced Thursday that it’s pausing all extracurricular activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In-person learning isn’t scheduled to happen until at least October.
“For us, it would be disingenuous to say you can’t come to school but it’s okay for you to come for practice, and for right now, that’s our decision. That’s my decision and I’m going to get a lot of heat for that,” Dallas ISD Superintendent Dr. Michael Hinojosa said.
Record thinks that’s a bad decision.
“I want to say to him, just please don’t cut our season no more than it’s already cut. Just let us play. It’s important for all of us. Coaches, students, athletes, we need this season,” he said.
Record believes most Dallas ISD players and coaches want to play. He’s organizing a protest for Dallas ISD Headquarters Monday at 11:45 a.m.
“It’s going to be a peaceful protest. No raising, no cursing,” Record said.
“This really puts them in a bit of a bind,” said Greg Tepper, who is managing editor for Dave Campbell’s Texas Football.
More than 300 1A to 4A schools will begin playing this week, but Tepper said the ones not playing, like Dallas ISD schools, will fall behind.
“That means that they couldn’t play their first game until October. And at that point, you’re really all up against it as far as getting all of your district games in,” Tepper explained.
Most 5A and 6A schools are scheduled to begin in a month.
“I would anticipate that you would see Dallas ISD’S 6A and 5A teams lose a couple of non-district games because of this delay, but they are in a better position than the small schools,” Tepper added.
“Some of our students have abusive homes, broken homes, so this season, it’s an outlet for them,” Record added.
Record said he understands the pandemic is serious, and he understands loss. He lost his father to cancer last year. He said his father always believed in his football abilities.
He hopes that the hurdles of this season won’t get in the way of other student-athletes who are using a sport to better their futures.
“I’ll just make it all positive and just let them know I’m here for them and I’ll step up for them. The whole district,” Record said.