Buffalo, NY (WIVB) – Buffalo Public Schools Principal Dr. Craner Cash spoke about the postponed quarterfinal football game at Bennett McQuaid State.
Cash said in a statement Sunday night that the game should have been confiscated rather than postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak on the McQuaid Jesuit High School football team. He added that health and safety should be a top priority, and said the issue was “rapidly unfolding as an issue of racial injustice and inequity.”
Cash said he would not tolerate the victimization and disqualification of student-athletes from BPS.
“We have had a very disturbing precedent happening with the Bennett/McQuaid football competition issue. So far, it does not exemplify the spirit of fairness, fairness and good sportsmanship. It is clear that the game should have been confiscated due to the massive outbreak of Covid-19 on the McQuaid team. Health and safety should be Always the first priority for everyone.
Neither the BPS nor the NYSPHSAA was privy to the injunction documents allegedly filed with the court. If this issue is not heard tomorrow or Tuesday morning and is properly resolved, we will call an urgent press conference and call on all relevant local and state authorities to stand with us.
This quickly unfolds as a racial injustice and inequality issue. I will not, under any circumstances, tolerate harm to our student-athletes and their opponent when they follow all the rules in accordance with this order. As a district, we are fully prepared to take immediate appeal actions to ensure a safe, fair and just outcome.”
Dr. Crainer Kasch, BPS Supervisor
Two members of McQuaid’s team tested positive on Tuesday and the team was put on a “72-hour pause to practice contact” that day. Additional tests revealed “several positive cases,” according to McQuaid.
McQuaid said Saturday that they had obtained a temporary restraining order against the Erie County Department of Health that would have allowed them to circumvent ECDOH protocols and travel to Williamsville South High School to play the game.
The move came after Erie County health officials told McQuaid Friday that only their vaccinated players, coaches and managers can compete in the game after some players from Rochester High School tested positive for COVID-19, according to the statment From McQuaid Jesuit.
Father said. Phil Judge, SJ, President of McQuaid Jesuit. “We look forward to this opportunity in the near future.”
The game was postponed Saturday afternoon by the New York State High School Athletic Association citing McQuaid’s positive COVID-19 cases. The NYSPHSAA’s decision to postpone was made in consultation with the Erie County Department of Health and the Monroe County Health Department, according to To Erie County Executive Mark Poloncars.
Division VI, a division of the NYSPHSAA of which Bennett High School is a member, called for the game to be forfeited and believed the game should have been played as originally scheduled.
Division VI President Brett Banker said Saturday that the NYSPHSAA has previously set a rule that does not allow any changes to the schedule after the season — except in the event of severe weather.
“While we are sensitive to the virus affecting students and coaching staff anywhere, our position is that McQuaid should have traveled to Erie County with the massive number of players available to them who are complying with ECDOH regulations,” Banker said. “Since that has not happened, we will be asking the NYSPHSAA CEO to announce a loss and move the much-deserved Bennett High School team forward in the state championships. We intend to cite NYSPHSAA’s own language regarding the inability to change the post-season schedule.”
Dr. Craner Cash said Buffalo Public Schools plans to hold a press conference and take legal action in the coming days if the ordeal is not “properly resolved.”