Chicago Public Schools is requiring that all basketball players be fully vaccinated in order to play, effective immediately.
“In addition to the currently established eligibility requirements all players must be fully vaccinated (per CDC guidelines an individual is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second vaccine shot),” CPS Athletic Program Administrator Tony McCoy wrote in an email to athletic directors on Thursday. “[The Office of Sports Administration] will be in touch with additional guidelines for submission of documentation as part of this updated sports participation eligibility requirement, but we wanted to provide this information to you so that you can plan accordingly.”
Most of the top Public League boys basketball teams are fully vaccinated. That comes along with traveling around the country to play games. Back in November, Young coach Tyrone Slaughter said his entire program was fully vaccinated. Simeon coach Robert Smith said today that his team is fully vaccinated.
Kenwood coach Mike Irvin says all but one player on his team meets the guidelines.
“Personally I support it,” Irvin said. “I’m fully vaccinated. This could be kind of a hard thing for some teams, coming up at the last second. But right now there are so many people coming up with COVID. I understand it.”
Curie coach Mike Oliver says his top eight players are all fully vaccinated. But he brings up an interesting point.
“I haven’t read the email yet but my phone is blowing up with people talking about it,” Oliver said. “That could be a real issue with some players and their religions. I don’t have a problem with it myself but it could be a problem for some people.”
The major holiday basketball tournaments all start up on Dec. 27 and 28th. Any player that isn’t fully vaccinated now will have to sit out the holiday tournaments and could miss all of January while meeting the requirements.
“That could be the rest of the season for some players,” Oliver said. “It’s going to be interesting.”