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Bloomington High School decides not to play basketball this winter

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Bloomington's TJ Barger scoops up a loose ball during an Intercity Boys Basketball Tournament game against Central Catholic last season. BHS athletic director Tony Bauman has announced the school will not play basketball this winter.

BLOOMINGTON — Bloomington High School athletic director Tony Bauman said Tuesday the school will not play basketball this winter, joining a growing list of schools throughout the state.

The Illinois High School Association said schools could begin practice Monday and start the season Nov. 30. But the Illinois Department of Public Health reclassified basketball to a high-risk sport late last month, and Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said the sport will move to a spring season.

"We decided that we needed to follow the IDPH guidelines and there was too much risk associated with the lack of insurance to provide any kind of coverage," said Bauman. "To go against government regulations was just too much risk for us."

Earlier this week, BHS principal Tim Moore confirmed that his son Landon, a BHS senior basketball standout, had transferred to Brownsburg High School in Indiana.

Bauman said BHS will continue to follow IDPH guidelines, which allows basketball teams to do some conditioning activity beginning Monday, but no scrimmaging or games. He plans to meet soon with boys coach Justin Walker and girls coach Austin Myers to figure out what the school does next.

"We're going to sit down at end of this week or early next week and lay out the calendar under current guidelines what we can do, when we want to start and cross our fingers that eventually things start to improve and we can expand on what we're doing and offering and hopefully having a season later in the year," said Bauman.

"Now, for us, the ball is back to see what the IHSA does. Do they continue to move forward or do they get data from all the schools that most of them are opting out and they look at moving the season? That's what we would hope for at this point, but that's to be determined."

The IHSA sent out surveys to schools, that were to be returned Tuesday, asking whether or not they would be starting basketball this month.

There is an meeting set Wednesday with the IHSA and its board of directors to review those surveys. Tim Moore is the IHSA board secretary.

Contact Jim Benson at (309) 820-3404. Follow him on Twitter: @pg_benson


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