By Andy Cotitsas

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Officials said Friday that sports at Michigan high schools will start on time, although the schedule could change if coronavirus trends get worse.
Football practices can start Aug. 10, followed by other fall sports two days later, the Michigan High School Athletic Association said.

The MHSAA said it considered switching fall and spring sports to limit close contact between athletes but dropped the idea after noting that soccer and lacrosse would carry a similar risk if moved to fall.

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If a fall sport is suspended, the season could resume later in the school year, the MHSAA said.

“Our student-athletes just want to play, and we’ve gone far too long without them playing. But doing so safely, of course, remains the priority,” executive director Mark Uyl said. “Our plan moving forward is to fall in the fall, starting on time.”

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The MHSAA’s 19-member council will discuss the topic again on July 29.

Even if games are played, attendance could be greatly restricted. The MHSAA earlier this week announced a way for schools to get equipment to post live games on the internet.

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“Revenue sharing from viewer subscriptions can help to offset losses in ticket sales, concessions and more due to COVID-19,” said John Johnson, director of broadcast services.