The Buffalo Public Schools have cancelled all Fall sports, citing the COVID-19 pandemic and related "operational challenges."
District Athletic Director Michael House says the district looked into the possibility of testing student athletes and coaches for the virus twice a week but that the cost would have been “astronomical.”
"We unfortunately couldn’t make an emotional decision," House says. "We had to make a decision based on science and data. So, we’ve been able to collaborate with public health officials, our BPS advisory council, student athletes, coaches, and we came to our decision today so that made sure that we provided the highest priority of school safety.”
Superintendent Kriner Cash released the following statement early Tuesday afternoon:
The Buffalo Public Schools is committed to the shared responsibility of public health and safety. After a thorough analysis of the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and major associated health data in our community that emerge daily, along with significant operational challenges, the Buffalo Public School District has made the decision to cancel all Fall sports including practices and workouts. At a time when all BPS students are learning remotely, the safety of our students and staff is always our highest priority.
Buffalo started the school year last week fully remotely and plans to assess a possible move to a hybrid model of instruction after four to six weeks. House says the athletics department also plans to evaluate the future of winter sports as the school year progresses.
The announcement comes as the region's Section VI of the New York State Public High School Athletic Association plans to meet Wednesday and announce a decision about the fate of sports at all member schools later this week.
The umbrella group covering WNY sports has sent ballots to area High School Athletic directors surveying them on possible start dates for the sports season. They had previously said that some low-contact sports would resume in March