Gov. Cuomo lifted a ban on high-risk school sports late in January but he left the decision to restart to each municipality and the city has not yet given the green light.
The Department of Education said any Public Schools Athletic League return plan will adhere to strict health rules.
“We are encouraged by recent updates from the state that allow us to create a pathway to bringing our scholar-athletes back together and give us the chance to restart programming that provides such tremendous benefit to so many,” the DOE said in an email.
It did not, however, offer any kind of timeline for getting back on the field.
For thousands of people who rallied in Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx last Saturday in an effort to reopen school sports, the time is now.
City Council candidate James Johnson, who played sports at Campus Magnet High School in Queens Village, joined with coaches, players and parents in St. Albans. Video of the rally was posted to Facebook.
“We want the same fairness and equality ... That’s all we want,” he said. “Equality.”
Johnson said some parents were taking their kids to Ohio so they could be filmed playing and practicing to get scholarship opportunities.
“When you have our young people that are depressed, that have anxiety from sitting at home for almost a year knowing that they don’t have an opportunity to get a scholarship, that’s a problem,” he said.
Jacques Leandre, president of the Rosedale Jets youth football organization, said kids are not getting exposure to city schools they might attend. The high school prep program is for children ages six to 13.
“Now they’re considering going to schools out in New Jersey, going to schools as far as Georgia, going to schools in Louisiana,” Leandre said. “New York City high school is not even an option for many of the students.”
Troy Williams, a senior football player, spoke of wanting to get back on the field.
“It hurts so much that me as a senior, my last year playing football after going through summers in the heat, working, grinding and we can’t finish it off,” he said.
Cardozo basketball head coach Ron Naclerio told the Chronicle Monday that there are freshmen in the Bayside school he hasn’t met yet and that he may never see as freshmen.
He said eager students at Cardozo have texted him asking when tryouts are.
“What? We’re not even in school,” Naclerio said.
For the upperclassmen, Naclerio said he’ll “have to work 1,000 times harder” to get kids into college because they can’t do it on their own.
The energetic coach also noted that without the workouts he would have students go through, he’s put on some weight.
“A few hours of what I do is a few miles of running,” Naclerio said. Naclerio, who has won more than 800 games since taking over as head coach in 1981, said he is going crazy without being able to coach.
“If it’s affected me like this and I’m older and wiser and more mature what about a 14, 15, 16, 17 year-old kid?” he said.