State legislator urges PIAA to keep high school sports in fall

Friday, August 7, 2020 | 2:08 PM

The governor wants high school sports delayed until January, but at least one member of the state legislature disagrees.

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Bellefonte, sent a letter Friday to the PIAA in support of playing sports in the fall. Benninghoff’s letter stressed that Gov. Tom Wolf’s recommendation “is not a mandate, and I’m asking you to stand firm on your previous decision to continue with PIAA-sanctioned events during the fall athletic season.”

The PIAA board scheduled a meeting Friday afternoon to decide how it should respond to the recommendation announced a day earlier by Wolf and his administration. Citing covid-19 concerns, Wolf requested that all youth sports — interscholastic and recreational — be delayed until at least Jan. 1.

That would contradict a position the PIAA took just last week. The PIAA Sports Medicine Advisory Committee agreed unanimously in late July that fall sports could be played safely, and the PIAA board voted last week to move forward as scheduled.

Benninghoff’s letter stressed the “social, mental and emotional experiences athletic provide,” calling them “irreplaceable.”

“I know the pressure from the governor is great, but parents, students and the House Republican Caucus stand with you should you choose to stand by your previous decision. I urge you to take an independent stand for our children,” he said.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at or via Twitter .

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