The DOE And PSAL Fumbled The 2020 Sports Seasons.


Ronaldo Collado , Reporter

Sports in 2020 have been like something never seen before. From the NBA season being played at Disney World, where every athlete was isolated from their family, to the postponement of multiple MLB games in July. Covid outbreaks within organizations are the greatest challenges to professional sports since the desegregation of sports. However, none has been as mishandled as the NYC PSAL High School sport league, where no clarity or even importance has been given to student-athletes whose future could possibly depend on their next season.

Frustration from Parents, Coaches, and Players

The absence of communication has led to a lot of discontent among players, parents, and coaches who all have sacrificed a lot to take part in school athletics. Including myself, and my coaches, at FDR HS in Brooklyn New York. For example, Football is a year-round sport. The off-season is where you improve and put in hours of work to better your craft for the next season. To put in all that work from November to March, and then be ignored by the DOE and PSAL is truly heartbreaking. In addition, all sports are an outlet for student-athletes’ energy and creativity, that they may not get to express in regular schooling. To now have to learn online, without a way to channel your true self, has led to a lot of stress for student-athletes in NYC. 

How Things Should Have Been Handled. 

No one is oblivious to the major pandemic that is going on right now, and it is continuing to get worse. However, there are things that the PSAL could have done to help facilitate the start of a sports season. In late summer and fall, COVID-19 numbers were at an all time low with only 568 new cases on August 26 in NYC. More attention could have been spent on the reinstitution of a season with proper precautions like face coverings, Covid-19 testing, even a shorter season, so on and so forth. We’ve seen many other states do it who have had higher daily infection rates then New York, but it was clearly never important to the DOE and PSAL in the first place. This is extremely frustrating when you have spent so many hours working in the cold, rain, heat, in pads and in full coats-  to have nothing in return, or at least an attempt is extremely disheartening.

All in all, I am extremely disappointed on how all these higher up organizations have handled the comeback of sports in NYC for thousands of athletes across the 5 boroughs. Coach Cinamon of the FDR Football team said it best, “NYC, or more specifically the Public School Athletic League (PSAL), has done absolutely nothing.  They sent out a blanket statement months ago saying that the school seasons are being postponed indefinitely, and that’s it.  There has been no correspondence or communication since.  Surrounding areas have been planning and communicating a return to sports very soon. They are putting safety precautions in place and preparing for upcoming seasons by allowing some coach and athlete interaction.The PSAL again has communicated nothing.  I feel it’s a disgrace and a shame.”

The PSAL can add their Covid-19 response to their long list of failures.