Back in the game: Gov. DeSantis, legendary athletes argue for high school sports
Gov. Ron DeSantis says President Joe Biden and Democrats are beholden to teachers' unions on the matter of reopening schools. Image via Facebook/Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis UNF 2
Gov. Ron DeSantis messaged on the importance of reopening schools, with an eye specifically to student-athletes.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, in his second visit to Jacksonville this week, messaged on the importance of reopening schools, with an eye specifically to student-athletes.

The Governor had some reliable support on hand, with an all-star roster of Republican allies and some renowned athletes.

Education Commissioner Richard Corcoran, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, and a host of former athletes were on hand to push for the importance of “boys and girls sports.”

DeSantis said that “cancellation of sports has had huge effects,” and let roundtable members make the case.

Former Florida State University star and current coach Charlie Ward described the difficulties for student-athletes.

“Our kids were still working out. They’re still in tournaments,” Ward said. “If that is happening, why can’t it all happen in one place?”

“When they’re working out with us, we know who they’re working out with,” said Ward, a former Heisman Trophy winner.

Lito Sheppard, a coach who was a former NFL player and Florida Gator, sang from the same hymnal.

“Sports teach you so many things,” Sheppard said. “It means a lot for our communities.”

Sheppard noted that some kids missed out on scholarships because of the pandemic, some of the “negatives that come from taking away sports.”

Suwannee High School coach Kyler Hall said students “are going to find something to do” if sports are canceled.

“We hope it will be something constructive, but that’s not always the case,” Hall, the son of a former coach, said.

“If there’s no high school athletics, that’s going to crush these kids,” Hall added.

Corcoran, the father of six, likewise was on board.

“This is about choice and options, and those choices and options should be available to every … student-athlete,” Corcoran said, saying that sports teach life lessons that make athletes better people.

Curry, whose son is preparing for high school football at Bishop Kenny, made similar points.

“Parents and kids ought to have the option,” Curry said.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


  • Frankie M.

    August 6, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    Jesus fucking Christ that is literally all that mofo cares about….football season. Not teachers or students spreading a potentially deadly disease but his son’s chances of totin the rock for AG’s alma mater. It is beyond disgusting. Why not get all those famous alum from DA who will complain about the lack of online options for theatre and dance classes? I’ll tell you why…because the mayor only gives a fuck about football.

    • SMH

      August 6, 2020 at 3:42 pm

      Sacrifices must be made! Attention must be paid!! to the golden football calf. By the way, can we please get real about the actual number of meaningful scholarships we’re talking about here? The kind that pay for real education? That might be worth the all out risks? Whatever happened to community service? Academics? Kiwanis? Brain brawl? Sure, never mind.

    • Henry Dunn

      August 8, 2020 at 8:24 am

      This was a total chit show. This idiot DeSantis has head stuck so far up Trumps butt it’s ridiculous.

  • Frankie M.

    August 6, 2020 at 5:24 pm

    When your guv cares more about resuming a rivalry 🏈 game than he does about people dying…smh. Not to worry the people that will die are old or have pre-existing conditions so they don’t matter. They might as well be asking for it, amirite?

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