IHSA Director says he supports “Let Us Play” rallies

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson. (Photo courtesy: WJBC/File)

By Blake Haas

BLOOMINGTON – With coaches, players, and fans set to hold a rally in Springfield and Chicago this weekend to bring back high school sports, the top leader of the IHSA says he supports the movement.

IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson said he thinks the protest with supporters at the Thompson Center and the State Capitol will demonstrate why Gov. Pritzker needs to bring back sports.

“I think they will be able to demonstrate a lot of support and I hear and see it…get information about especially from parents as well as our coaches and school administrators that would like to see opportunities for students when they can do it and return safely,” Anderson told WJBC’s, Marc Strauss. “I think if they get the gathering numbers that I anticipate that they will get at these rallies, it will demonstrate how collectively there is tremendous support for kids and their opportunities to practice and compete and earn or receive all the benefits of athletic and activity participation.”

Anderson said the IHSA is not directly involved with the “Let Us Play” event; however, the IHSA will be keeping a close eye on the rally.

“We’re generally in the same opinion as I’ve reached out to the Governor’s office in the past. (I’ve) very recently tried to indicate where things are being conducted in other states, and there’s an example that being done of why couldn’t we here in Illinois. I think that the same messaging is going to play out in these rallies, and it’s something that we’re trying to get a similar impression to the Governor’s office to permit us to do the same.”

On Tuesday, Gov. Pritzker doubled-down on his choice of no high school sports, saying he has no plans to change his mind.

LISTEN: IHSA Executive Director Craig Anderson spoke with WJBC’s Marc Strauss about a “insider” and the “Let Us Play” rallies being held this weekend. 

Only two states, Illinois and Minnesota, are the only Midwest states who have no plan to play high school football this fall.

Blake Haas can be reached at Blake.Haas@Cumulus.com.

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