IHSA says CPS football teams could remain in state playoffs if strike is settled early Wednesday

Chicago Public Schools football teams have a little more time before they will have to forfeit state playoff games than originally believed.

SHARE IHSA says CPS football teams could remain in state playoffs if strike is settled early Wednesday
Taft’s Dexter Stigall IV (12) looks for a receiver as the Eagles play Curie.

Taft’s Dexter Stigall IV (12) looks for a receiver as the Eagles play Curie.

Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Chicago Public Schools football teams have a little more time before they will have to forfeit state playoff games than originally believed.

IHSA spokesperson Matt Troha said Tuesday afternoon that it would be possible for football teams to practice on Wednesday even if classes are canceled due to the Chicago Teachers Union strike.

“If [the CPS and CTU] settle late tonight or at a reasonable time tomorrow for the teams to gather and practice, that would meet our policy,” Troha said.

The IHSA’s bylaws require a football team to have three practices before playing a game if the team hasn’t practiced in seven days. CPS teams have now missed 11 days of practice due to the strike, so the rule kicks in. Unless the teams practice on Wednesday they will not have enough days to get three practices in before the playoff games on Saturday.

Multiple CPS football coaches said they don’t believe CPS requires school to be in session for practices to occur. Teams regularly practice on the weekend and holidays.

The CTU has called in its House of Delegates for a key meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the state of negotiations with Chicago Public Schools.

The meeting will bring the union’s 800-plus school-level delegates up to date on the latest talks and could set the stage for either a vote on the school district’s current offer or another meeting in the next day or two for the governing body to end the now nine-day strike.

The delegates are set to meet at 6 p.m. at the CTU’s Near West Side headquarters.

“What I think about as I’m standing here is I think about Simeon,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Tuesday after hand-delivering a new proposal to the CTU. “And I think that those young men, who’ve worked their behinds off and had a good opportunity and could get deep into the playoffs, deserve that opportunity. Their fate should be decided on the football field, not here and not in the House of Delegates.”

Last week the IHSA board waived a rule that required teams to play eight games to qualify for the playoffs. That allowed three additional CPS teams, including Simeon, to be seeded in the playoffs.

The rule requiring three practices before a game will not be modified, IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said. The teams have been unable to practice since Oct. 17 when the teachers walked out.

“Acclimatization in the sport of football has been a focal point of our Sports Medicine Advisory Committee over the past decade, and the medical professionals who advise us, believe it is vital to the safety of our student-athletes,” Anderson said.

CPS golf, soccer, tennis and cross-country teams were forced to forfeit their playoffs last week. Fifty-six schools forfeited girls volleyball state playoff games on Monday.

‘‘I support everything the teachers are fighting for right now,’’ Jones senior Vanessa Andrews, a volleyball player, said. ‘‘I don’t want to sound pessimistic, but the strike has gone too far. It is not only punishing all the athletes but all the seniors, too. I can’t get my transcripts and recommendations sent to colleges, and they have a hard deadline [of Nov. 1].

‘‘The teachers are striking for the students, but ultimately it is the students that are being punished right now.’’

Nearly 3,000 CPS students have had their state playoffs forfeited because of the strike.

Contributing: Nader Issa

CPS teams in state playoff games

Class 8A
Taft at Huntley
Curie at Homewood-Flossmoor

Class 7A
Lincoln-Way West at Phillips
Lincoln Park at Rolling Meadows

Class 6A
Lakes at Simeon
Mather at Antioch
Riverside-Brookfield at Kenwood
Morgan Park at East St. Louis

Class 5A
Fenwick at Payton
Hyde Park at Rockford Boylan
Marmion at Amundsen

Class 4A
Phoenix at Coal City
Kewanee at Ag. Science
Clark at St. Francis
Sullivan at IC Catholic

Class 3A
Carver at Paxton-Buckley-Loda
Harlan at Durand
Dunbar at Eureka

Class 2A
Orr at St. Edward

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