jb

On Wednesday afternoon, I began to hear the rumors of closing down the Arkansas Activities Association spring sports.

Those rumblings got a little louder on Thursday.

An announcement was planned to be made at noon on Friday, but the AAA could not wait. They tweeted out the announcement late Thursday and let the chips fall where they may.

The announcement shut down athletics in Arkansas high schools for at least 16 days.

Beginning Sunday, kids will not be allowed to play sports again until March 30. It may be longer than March 30 as the AAA will be assessing the situation of the Covid-19.

It does look like a long time, but it really is just a week. The second week of the time frame is Spring Break for Arkansas schools. There are very few events that are held that week.

Hopefully, action will begin the 30th.

If not, I feel extremely sorry for the seniors that will not play much or at all in their final year.

The same thing goes for the NCAA.

You are stealing the careers of athletes. The decision was made to cancel the season of all spring sports. For the NCAA, that is a lot of sports. Besides the obvious of baseball, softball, track and field, there is golf, beach volleyball, rowing, bowling, etc…

All of these seasons are gone. At least the AAA, had some foresight to give themselves a little time to work around and try and get a season in the books.

Of course the AAA doesn’t have the money that the NCAA has. That is why I am really surprised that the AAA shut the basketball finals down after one day of action.

Now Class 3A-6A will have to sit around and wait because the AAA used the word “postponed.”

Speaking of postponed, the Northark Lady Pioneers national tournament trip has been “postponed” until April 20.

All of this creates a lot of questions for me.

How is a coach suppose to keep a team engaged during this dead time? Keeping 16-, 17-, 18- and 19-year olds focused on basketball is difficult.

Can these postponed teams scrimmage some other squads? In Northark’s case, how does Coach Bobby Howard keep his players sharp? How does Ryan Johnson at Valley Springs keep his player hitting their outside shots?

Can Northark bring in recruits while they are waiting to play nationals? They need to have tryouts and find players for next season. Can they do that while this season is still going on?

During all of this, the lack of communication has been evident.

Hunter Yurachek complained that he was not told that they were canceling the entire spring season of the Arkansas Razorback sports.

He stated that he is an athletic director of a Power 5 school and he had no idea what was going on other than the tweet that he read.

Of course that was the case of a team that was headed to play in a state championship game. No word from the actual AAA other than a tweet that was sent to everyone.

No, “Hey congratulations on making it to the finals. We feel that we need to postpone the finals until an undetermined date. We are sorry that we don’t have more information now.”

Instead, it was “I hope someone in your school has a Twitter account because we are not calling you.”

I guess the Covid-19 is the new Swine Flu from 10 years ago. I still haven’t figured out why this virus requires a lot of toilet paper.

High school seniors, I hope you get a season. College players, I hope someone with a brain at the NCAA will adjust the statement. To the NJCAA, come on already. Postponing for five weeks is a bit silly. On another note, I am happy that Northark isn’t hosting this tournament this year. That would have been a mess.

Stay well and away from all of the germs. Spend more time with your family. Take some hikes. If you need to know of some good places, let me know. I will help you find some.

Jeff Brasel is the sports editor of the Harrison Daily Times. E-mail him at jeffb@harrisondaily.com or follow him at twitter.com/jeffbrasel .

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