Baldwin superintendent mulls immediate future of sports
BALDWIN -- Rick Heitmeyer is superintendent at Baldwin, but has also been handling athletic director duties at the school.
With the coronavirus issue having such an impact with school systems and athletic departments, it's quite a challenge to be handling both posts.
Heitmeyer said he's planning on eventually filling the athletic director's spot with someone.
"But at this point without knowing what next year holds, I'm just going to hold off on it at this point and keep doing the work," Heitmeyer said.
The key questions for any high school athletic program is twofold right now.
--Is there any chance for athletes to partake in any summer activities?
--Will there be fall sports?
"We'll wait until the end of May on what Governor Whitmer says about getting groups together," Heitmeyer said. "As long as we can't get people together, we can't authorize something like that. Right now, school is closed until June 30 based on her initial order. If we can have summer programs, we will. But I'm going to hold off and see what things look like because when you look at Governor Whitmer's six-point plan, school kind of looks doubtful for the fall. I can't believe we'll have things that level off by August or September
"We're in a big holding pattern trying to see what the future holds. If you talked to the MHSAA, they're trying to determine what to do about the fall. There were rumors maybe they were going to move football to the spring. Right now I think that's on hold. They voted to keep the seasons where they are. When you have some big revenue sports that may not get their opportunity in the fall, as far as MHSAA is concerned, everything may be on the table."
Heitmeyer called this a "very frustrating and uncomfortable time to be involved in the leadership of these type of things right now because people want answers and you can't give them answers. I think by the end of May, we'll know what June looks like. But beyond that, I'm not really sure. I know that all kinds of festivals and stuff are being canceled. I know with football camps and 7-on-7s, basketball camps, I'm sure all of those will be canceled if they haven't been already.
"As far as coaches working with small groups, we'll have to wait and see what might be possible. It's just a crazy time. It depends on what's decided on how many people get together. It guess you could have (football) without spectators. But that would be strange."
By the first of June, "I'm thinking we'll know a little more," Heitmeyer said. "I don't know if we'll know a lot more. We'll have a little more direction. The powers to be can't drag everything out too long because we have plans for the fall, for sports. I guess a week before, we could cancel them. But that's going to be another hurdle. The MHSAA will wait as long as they can to make a decision. They got their butts kicked by not having the basketball tournaments. They lost a lot of money. They're hurting right now.
"To pull the plug on fall sports, with football being the big money maker, they're going to wait as long as they can. If they lose the fall, the MHSAA could truly be in trouble."