Last week, Governor Tom Wolf made a nowhere recommendation that scholastic sports be postponed until at least January 1st.
The PIAA did not know the statement was coming. The wolf gave no context for how his office came to that decision. And he gave no explanation for the logic behind the time limit.
Moreover, last week, the PIAA board of directors had just decided to proceed with the start of the fall sports as scheduled.
Equally stunning were Wolf̵7;s subsequent comments Thursday in York. The governor stood by his recommendation while acknowledging that he has not yet read the response from the PIAA.
TribLIVE’s Chris Harlan joined me on Friday’s “Breakfast With Benz” podcast. He says that letter was given to the governor earlier in the week.
Not only did Wolf fail to read it, but he also basically said it was not worth his time.
“I’m not sure what they could say would make me change my sense of what I believe is the right thing to do,” Wolf said.
Comically, a few minutes later, Wolfe described himself as “open-minded.”
Equally hilarious is Wolf’s attempt to detach the importance of his work from his recommendation.
“I realize I’re just a person,” Wolf said. “Maybe I’m the governor, but I’m a person who has an opinion.”
governor is the main part of that sentence, you know?
Stop gaming, Governor. This “I’m just a man!” items are a farce. And you know it. You are the leader of this state. You are not posting on Facebook. You are not “Tom of York County” being called to a talk show. Your “recommendation” is more important than most.
By the way, you are not “just a person”. Your health department and education department have already supported you. So you are a person with two major government agencies supporting your policy.
I’m sorry. No “politics” I know, it is only a “recommendation”
The wolf is also often playing that semantic game. He is caught before he says anything like “policy” or “statement” or “decree”. He will analyze between “recommendation” and “directive”.
Because the “recommendation” makes him informal, as he is not the one making the decision. Just as he can shift responsibility to individual school boards, PIAAs or various state conferences.
Please! Who is making fun of this guy? How many school boards will be held accountable for acting in direct conflict with the governor and the health and education departments.
The parents of the first reserve worker who does not take the time to play on the “X” high school football team and the coronavirus contracts will take that school board (and district) to court so soon, lawyers will not be able to register as soon as you say, “Negligence! Negligence! They had a state recommendation! They ignored him and played anyway!“
Sure. It was just a recommendation. However, it may have been a draft law signed into law.
And it could also have been a cancellation announcement for high school sports this fall. Although Wolf is claiming that is not the case.
“I also recommended this summer that pennsylvanians avoid going to the Jersey coast. Sorry, that’s my recommendation. You do what you want, and the school districts will do what they want,” Wolf shrugged.
Jo, Governor. They will not do what they want. They will do what keeps them from exposing legal beatings.
And that the Jersey Shore analogy is so stupid, I can barely gather an answer. I will just say that anyone who went to Jersey Shore will not sue themselves if they get coronavirus.
The Wolf’s address coup was an absurd excuse for why cross country is an example of an autumn sport that was too dangerous for a competition.
Here is one of the Governor’s comments on the sport…. pic.twitter.com/trXD6fNDmS
– Bob Greenburg (@BobGreenburg) August 13, 2020
First of all, no one is prioritizing sports over education. The questions are about trying to figure out ways for them to coexist under circumstances. We have plenty of real arguments, without the Wolf creating a hand man.
Secondly, psst! Mr. Governor, you can compete without fans. You remember?!?
So, even though the high school cross meets in York are, it seems, as they follow much like the finish line in the New York City Marathon, the governor has no need to worry.
If Wolf wants to talk about whether high school football, soccer or basketball are safe enough to play, let’s debate that. But digging in his heels on the cross? This is just a guy more concerned about the law than it makes sense.
Cost and ability to test. Cost and ability to continuously sanitize facilities. Impossibility of social distance in a school environment. I understand Wolf’s concern.
As much as I want to see academic football and other sports happening to kids, I do not know for sure that it is possible.
But I know that an honest conversation is worth it. Something that does not seem to interest “Tom of York County.”
• • •
You can listen to my entire podcast with Harlan here.
Tim Benz is a writer on the Tribune Review staff. You can contact Tim at email@example.com or via Twitter. All tweets can be republished. All emails are subject to publication unless otherwise specified.
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