High school football: State Attorney General urges no more delays in start of season in letter to LHSAA director

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Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has joined the chorus of voices urging there be no further delays in the start of the high school football season.

In a letter sent Monday to LHSAA Executive Director Eddie Bonine, Landry begins by pointing out the organization’s legitimate concerns when the process of returning to high school sports in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic began several months ago.

“However, times have changed as has our understanding of the virus,” the letter states. “It is time for our decision-making process to as well.”

Landry’s letter also states his surprise at the LHSAA’s concerns of legal liability if a player contracts COVID-19 while playing.

“I think those concerns are unfounded,” he writes.

He then proceeds to acknowledge the risks of playing football and points out waivers parents are already required to sign.

“A simple adjustment in your waiver language to reflect any COVID-19 risks should assure parental consent and dispel legal concern,” he writes.

He ends the letter by asking “you and all concerned to consider the impact further delay will have on these young student-athletes. … Football puts them on a track for success off the field and in life.”

Landry’s letter is similar to one sent by House District 74 Rep. Larry Frieman last week.

It was signed by 44 other representatives.

The LHSAA pushed back the start of the season from this Thursday to Oct. 8 after Gov. John Bel Edwards extended Phase II of the state’s reopening for three weeks to Aug. 28. Last week, he extended it for another two weeks until at least Sept. 11.

A copy of the letter follows below.