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Ben Asks a Question: How will high schools keep student-athletes safe in the upcoming year?

Posted at 7:07 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 19:07:19-04

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine says the decisions high school athletes make this season are “more important than they’ve ever been” as schools across the state begin to look forward to the start of their year.

DeWine’s comment came during his Tuesday COVID-19 press briefing. Due to time restrictions I was unable to ask a question. However, my plan was to ask the governor about high school sports -- and Scott Halasz of the Xenia Daily Gazette did just that.

Ben Asks a Question is a feature we started as a way to help give you a voice during Gov. Mike DeWine's daily press briefings. Since then, Ben has gotten hundreds of questions a day. If you'd like to ask a question, find us on Facebook and feel free to message us there, or send us an email at

Halasz asked DeWine about the Ohio High School Football Coaches Association’s recent announcement of their plans to keep players safe during the season -- and if the association’s plans will have an effect on his decision on whether or not to allow sports this fall in Ohio schools.

DeWine replied, beginning by speaking on the changes student-athletes will have to face this year.

“Part of the argument for sports, that is, I think, a strong one -- is first of all, there’s a discipline to sports,” said DeWine. “Part of that discipline this year will have to be different than the normal discipline. Part of the discipline this year will have to be being safe.”

DeWine continued on the issue, pivoting to praise of coaches and teachers who will oversee school activities -- before returning to the burden placed on students to keep themselves and their peers safe.

"They are role models, and it’s not only important what these young people do in school, what they do in practice,” said DeWine. “But what they do together the rest of the day. And so our coaches, our teachers have a great opportunity to help these young people understand that the choices they make at 9:00 at night, or 10:00 at night or some other time on the weekend … that those life choices that they’re going to make this year -- they’re always important, but this year they’re more important than they’ve ever been before. And that the choice they make may determine whether or not their team is going to be able to continue to play that sport.”

DeWine is next set to address the public on Thursday.