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Vote to eliminate TSSAA dead period for athletics fails

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In a special-called meeting by the TSSAA Legislative Council, a motion to waive the mandatory two-week dead period for high school athletics failed to pass Thursday afternoon.

The upcoming dead period, which will begin June 22 and extend through July 6, will not be adjusted despite some pushes across the state to lift the time frame as players and coaches are finally getting back together as the state slowly tries to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council failed to pass the motion with a dead-locked 6-6 vote. A tie means no changes and the two-week dead period will stay in place.

"We don't ever want to put sports before families, and many families make plans for the dead period every year," said Bernard Childress, Executive Director of the TSSAA. "This is not the first year we've had the dead period and as eager as coaches are to get back to their routine, the council ultimately felt that there wasn't a strong enough case for doing away with it this year."

Childress stressed keeping the dead period in place for families right from the start of the meeting.

“Think seriously about if we're putting sports ahead of family,” he said prior to the motion being made during discussion Thursday. “That's not what we want to stand for.

"Don't put the student-athlete in a place where they have to choose to practice or falling behind."

Childress said staff understands both sides, “but we would never push to take time away from family.”

"We put in that two-week dead period to let kids be kids,” Childress said. “We still need to allow them to be kids and have some consideration for the families."

Practices for football, try-outs for basketball and other strength and conditioning for high school student-athletes began this week in Williamson County, under strict guidelines. Media currently aren't allowed on WCS campuses as teams get their first taste of being together since early March. 

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