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Public League football coaches say CPS lacks a plan for return to play

Suburban and private schools started workouts over the past week. The CPS has no timeline to start up, according to several coaches.

Taft’s Demetri Georgopoulos (76) blocks Curie’s Tobias Bell (18).
Taft’s Demetri Georgopoulos (76) blocks Curie’s Tobias Bell (18).
Allen Cunningham/For the Sun-Times

Multiple Public League football coaches have confirmed that they were told by Chicago Public Schools on Monday that there is no timeline for the district to allow schools to participate in Stage 1 of the Illinois High School Association’s return-to-play plan.

“I’m very worried there won’t be a season,” Foreman football coach Conell Hayes said.

The IHSA released the guidelines for Stage 1 of its return-to-play plan on June 5. Schools with district approval were allowed to begin voluntary strength and conditioning sessions on June 6.

A CPS spokesperson told the Sun-Times on June 7 that it was “working diligently to develop guidance and protocols to ensure our students can safely begin training.”

Those protocols may not be coming anytime soon.

“The CPS wants a return to school date before they will talk about a return to play date,” Hayes said.

A few school districts approved workouts starting last week and even more are starting up this week.

“It’s frustrating that the state has a plan, the IHSA has a plan and it appears the CPS does not have a plan,” Taft football coach John Tsarouchas said. “I’m worried that CPS isn’t going to have its ducks in a row in order to give schools in this district the best chance to compete in the fall.”

Tsarouchas is concerned that the longer the CPS waits to provide any information the more students will begin transferring out of the district.

“Some families will decide to go elsewhere because there is a greater certainty of being able to prepare and play in the fall,” Tsarouchas said. “That’s why CPS families need to know what the district’s plan is.”

CPS did not respond to a request for comment.