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Michigan AD Resigned in Objection To HS Sports Resuming

September 14, 2020 / Athletic Administration
A Michigan high school athletic director has resigned down from his post as the state has loosened its restrictions on high school sports amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Unke announced his resignation as the Tawas Area High School athletic director last week after his recommendation for the school to cancel fall sports was denied, according to a report from MLive.com.

resignedUnke issued his resignation letter to the Tawas staff as well as local media outlets. Below is an excerpt that MLive.com shared from Unke’s resignation letter.

“With the Board of Education deciding to move forward with fall sports I can not, in good conscience, be the person who is responsible for facilitating large gatherings. I have come to this decision as no scientific data has been presented to show we should be moving forward with these types of events.

“To the contrary, the governor discussed on Wednesday at a press conference how the parts of the state that have been opened up (Phase 5 for Regions 6 and 8) show increases in cases. The very next day she allowed all parts of the state to move forward.

“This was unexpected as every action, up to this point, had placed restrictions on our ability to play and even went as far as postponing the sport of football till the spring. I ask, ‘What changed overnight?’

“Absolutely nothing that is based on scientific data.”

Michigan governor, Gretchen Whitmer, rolled back restrictions and strict safety standards previously place upon organized sports last week — giving the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) the green light to proceed with fall sports, including football.

Unke wanted to cancel all fall sports at Tawas Area High School with the exception of cross country for 2020.

» ALSO SEE: NFHS Director Opines on Start of HS Sports

“He met with me at the end of last week and shared some very legitimate concerns over discrepancies between what we were hearing from the MHSAA and the (Michigan Department of Health and Human Services),” John Klinger, superintendent of Tawas Area Schools, told MLive.com. “Based on the information in front of him, he was not recommending we move forward with fall sports.

“He’s a data-driven person and he doesn’t see where the numbers indicate going in this direction.”

To read the full report from MLive.com on why the Michigan high school athletic director resigned, click here