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Tennessee governor reverses course, will start high school football on time

Tennessee governor Bill Lee has overruled his own decision, permitting the state's high schools to begin their seasons on time.

On July 1, Lee extended Tennessee's state of emergency through Aug. 29, making it impossible for the Volunteer State to begin its high school season as scheduled on Aug. 21.

Four weeks later, Lee flipped his hips and reversed field, issuing Executive Order No. 55 to allow contact sports to resume as scheduled.

“We appreciate being able to work with Gov. Lee and his staff on this,” TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said in a statement. “I am pleased that we were able to develop some very specific guidelines for every sport that will allow our kids to get out on their fields and fully participate in football and girls’ soccer this fall.

“This is good news for many kids and their families,” Childress added, “but the reality is that the virus will continue to be with us and we have to be smart about taming the spread. Every adult and every participant in every sport must do their part and follow the guidelines set forth by TSSAA and the Governor’s office to help mitigate these risks.”

Tennessee high schools were permitted to begin heat acclimation on July 20, and full-padded practices can begin after two days of helmets and three days of helmets and shoulder pads. Games are theoretically allowed to begin three weeks from Friday.

As always, stay tuned to High School Scoop for the latest.