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After Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry asked public schools to stop fall athletic activities, many districts are doing so. 

In a memorandum addressed to Pima County School Superintendent Dustin Williams, Huckelberry asked for Williams’ “assistance in communicating with area public school district superintendents, as well as public charter and private schools, in asking they begin the process to immediately cease all fall athletic events at public schools, including football practice and games.” 

Tucson Unified School District Superintendent Gabriel Trujillo announced the remainder of the district’s football season has been suspended after considering this guidance and public health recommendations from the Pima County Health Department, according to an email announcement sent last week. 

Trujillo said all of TUSD’s winter sports practices and after-school performing arts rehearsals “are temporarily suspended and will be revisited on Dec. 7,” according to the email. 

“Please know that Tucson Unified is not the only district to take this action as all southern Arizona school districts have also canceled the remainder of their respective game schedules which leaves our schools without opponents to play,” Trujillo said in the email. “I want to thank all of the hard-working coaches, athletes, and supportive parents that worked so hard to make this shortened season possible.”

TUSD initially allowed full-contact football practice after parents signed a waiver of release of all future claims against the district for any COVID-19 related damages, Trujillo said in a press conference on Nov. 12. 

At the press conference, the superintendent said the district’s football games wouldn’t have public attendance, transportation was to be provided by parents and communal areas such as locker rooms and showers were off-limits.

The Amphitheater Unified District’s Superintendent Todd Jaeger canceled all athletic practices and competitions, also at Huckelberry’s direction, he announced in a letter to the district’s families. 

“County health officials say there is ample evidence that most of the mass quarantine events in schools in the county are tied to athletic events,” Jaeger said in the letter. “That has been true in our District, as we have seen hundreds of student-athletes being quarantined since opening in the hybrid model.”

Marana Unified School District also announced it would be canceling football games and practice, as well as pausing practice for winter sports.

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