EDUCATION

Provo High School football game moves back home, frustrating educators

Sep 24, 2020, 5:35 PM
provo city school district...
(Provo High School preparing to take the football field against Orem. Credit: Adam Fondren, Deseret News, file, 2017)
(Provo High School preparing to take the football field against Orem. Credit: Adam Fondren, Deseret News, file, 2017)

PROVO – After getting a strong amount of negative feedback, Provo High School is moving its homecoming football game back home — without spectators.  However, some educators are voicing their frustration they had to make this decision.

When Gov. Gary Herbert announced Provo and Orem were moving into the “orange” or moderate-risk category of COVID-19 restrictions, the decision allowed for team sports to continue — but fans were not allowed to watch in-person.  Provo High School then arranged to move its upcoming game against Wasatch High School to a neutral site, namely Spanish Fork High School.

This move was not very well received by many people in the county.  Some posted messages to the Provo City School District’s Facebook page, saying things like:

 

“By allowing this you are sending the message that rules/mandates do not matter, there’s always a way around them. I just can’t believe an educational institution is condoning such despicable behavior!”

“This is a horrible message to send the kids.”

“I honestly cannot believe that ‘Provo’ would allow, rather instigate such a circumvention of the rules. Can they go any lower?”

 

However, District Spokesman Caleb Price said that was not the motive for moving the game.

“The whole point of moving the game wasn’t an effort to find a loophole in the mandate or skirt the rules or anything like that,” Price said.  “They were just trying to bring the school community and those families together to support the kids.”

In an email sent to PHS patrons, Principal Boyd McAffee explained why he was frustrated the game had to come back to Provo without spectators.  He stated that other schools in other districts have been allowed to move their games to accommodate fans. 

Plus, he said the same fans that aren’t allowed to watch the game in Provo would have been allowed to watch an away game.

“It is interesting that our fans are too contagious to be allowed to congregate together in our own stadium,” McAffee wrote. “But if we had a schedule that assigned us to play out of town this Friday, our parents and spectators would be allowed to follow the team and attend the game. Supporting students and parents, and our community should not be based on luck, and yet in this case it is based on scheduled home or away games as determined in a meeting last spring.”

McAffee also stated this decision prevents the cheerleading squad, marching band and dance team from performing.  Also, the homecoming court can’t be honored by the school.  Price says there are a lot more students that invest their time and efforts into a football game, not just the players.

“Cheerleaders, the band and the other students that are heavily involved in a football game, especially the homecoming game, they had the opportunity to have a last ‘home’ game and have their fans in attendance,” Price said.

McAffee’s letter also states, “Whether you agreed with our original decision or not, it was made in support of our athletes, our performing arts students, our cheerleaders, our Homecoming Royalty, our parents, and our community. These are new and challenging times. Comprehensive high schools are first and foremost centers of learning, but we are also community centers. Places where communities gather around to support kids. There is no simple right and wrong answer to questions regarding how to balance the risk of community spread of COVID-19 and supporting our students’ academic progress and social and emotional health. Our decision was not an attempt to circumvent the governor’s order or any guidelines. Our decision was made in an effort to support PHS students and the PHS community.

“The Provo High administrative team tried to do what they thought best to support our students and our community. But, due to random luck of scheduling, we will not be able to have community support at our game Friday. It is unfortunate that guidelines put in place have such random outcomes that disadvantage one school over other schools simply based on whether they play at home this week or play away. I hope for a win Friday night against Wasatch High School.”

 

RELATED LINKS

Nebo School District blocks Provo High’s plans to move football game due to coronavirus restrictions

Provo opted to move game to Spanish Fork due to COVID-19 restrictions, but Nebo School District pushed back

Today’s Top Stories

Education

video game...
Elizabeth Weiler

BYU students win international award for video game

SALT LAKE CITY — Students apart of the animation program at BYU received international recognition from the Rookie Awards for developing and producing a video game. Additionally, the “Highly Commended” also helped BYU earn the global ranking of fifth top video game design school.  The interactive computer game in question is titled Liminus: The Silent Guard, it […]
3 days ago
Weber State University will offer TheDream.US scholarships to Utah immigrant youth who want to atte...
Simone Seikaly

Utah immigrant youth to benefit from new Weber State scholarship

The scholarships for Utah immigrant youth are offered through TheDream.US, which helps DREAMers get into college.
4 days ago
USU Eastern Student Wins Bronze Medal in Welding Competition...
Aubri Wuthrich

USU Eastern student takes 3rd in global welding competition

The USU Eastern welding student scored seven points behind the gold medal winner and took the Best of Nation Award.
4 days ago
At Bingham High School, three seniors made a Cathedral Gingerbread House for extra credit which is ...
Waverly Golden

Bingham High students build intricate gingerbread cathedral

At Bingham High School, three seniors made a Cathedral Gingerbread House for extra credit which is now on display at the high school.
5 days ago
Native tribes...
Elizabeth Weiler

Native tribes of Utah are given their chance to offer historical perspectives on museum artifacts

SALT LAKE CITY — Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) Anthropologists are using a grant to insure a lifelong understanding of Native tribes and Indigenous culture, long after their generations have passed.  Utah is home to several Native tribes who are now having a chance to preserve their culture.  National Endowment of the Humanities (NEH) […]
7 days ago
Officials at Weber State University are considering a change to the student health services current...
Alexandrea Bonilla

Weber State University considers outsourcing student health care

Right now, the health center at Weber State provides low-cost care to students and does not require any form of insurance.
13 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Provo High School football game moves back home, frustrating educators