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May 29, 2024

Governor Pritzker, IDPH Intimidating IHSA, Who Has No Intention Of Policing Individual Schools For Violations

By Kirk Allen & John Kraft

On July 13, 2020

Illinois (ECWd) –

The Illinois High School Association (“IHSA”) will be hit with a lawsuit later today from Tom DeVore, filing on behalf of himself and his children.

IHSA issued a Return to Play Plan for sporting activities only to have the plan tossed due to confirmed COVID-19 cases in one school in northern Illinois, Lake Zurich. Ten students and one parent tested positive, and from that one event, IHSA has issued new mandates for the entire state.

Emails obtained point to the IHSA Executive Director telling the IHSA Administrators the changes are tied to “some recent outbreaks at some schools and the contradiction in guidance between our guidance and those of ISBE.”  The truth of the matter, it was not due to outbreaks at “some schools” but rather one school as confirmed in the email.

More disturbing in the uncovered communications is the collusion between IDPH, Office of the Governor, and IHSA, a private organization.  Communications confirm IDPH and the Governor’s Office “approving” plans for the private association, which include issuing directives.

IDPH and the Governor’s Office have no authority to be issuing “required directives” to a private association.  Nor does IDPH or the Governor’s Office have any authority to “approve” plans of the IHSA, yet communications point to that taking place. (see emails here and here)

The following three new rules, which were a directive from the Governor, were added by the Executive Director of IHSA without going through the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee, who, we understand, are against the mandate of a face mask while engaging in physical activity:

  • There cannot be any contact drills/physical contact among athletes.
  • All persons must always wear masks. (We are working to determine if this includes outside while social distancing.)
  • There must be a strict 50 person limit to all indoor activities, and that would include any spectators (people in those groups should also socially distance).

As if IDPH and the Governor abusing their power by issuing illegal directives and approvals to private associations is not enough, we are back to the enforcement authority.

Why would IHSA issue these draconian “required directives” knowing they have no legal basis to enforce any of it?

According to the IHSA Executive Director, when asked about the legality and enforcement of these directives approved by the Governor and IDPH, the answer confirms what we already knew.

“In a “legal” sense one could argue that we have no provision to offer this guidance to our membership during the summer.  However, our IHSA Board of Directors has approved of these guidelines to help support the safe return of activities for our membership.  Between you and I, what we are providing our member schools is “guidance.”  We have no intention to police individual schools for violations of our guidance and enforce penalties for non-compliance. 

I think it’s been well documented that we are receiving approval of our guidance from government offices like IDPH and the Governor’s office to adhere to state guidelines as we prepare a safe return to activities. 

Generally, I think schools are welcoming of some guidance from our association to create some common expectations for how we return safely. 

Unfortunately, I do not have a citation to state our authority in this case.  This is an unprecedented time where we are simply trying to support our membership.  (Email)

We have said for years: “Says Who and With What Proof.”

In this case, the IHSA Executive Director says they have no provision to even offer this guidance to their membership, let alone any intention of policing it for violations.  Sadly, in one breath he confirms they have no provision for the guidance to its members, then confirms the IHSA Board of Directors has approved of the guidelines. So are we to understand the Board of Directors approve of something that they have no provision to offer such guidance in the first place?

Not only is there no provision for their actions, but he also confirms he does not have a citation to state their authority in this case. In short, they are implementing mandates to high schools statewide knowing they have no legal basis to do it, and IDPH and the Governor’s office are a party to this abuse of power.

This is a clear example of the Governor and IDPH not following the science and data, but rather ignoring it.  Much like the Executive Orders, the Governor and IDPH are pushing a one size fits all plan to the State of Illinois but this time through IHSA, a private association who admits it has no intention of policing the Governor’s and IDPH’s directives.

At some point, the Governor and his State Agencies must be stopped from the ongoing exercise of power never given by the Legislature.

Once the Lawsuit against IHSA is filed we will update with a new article and copies of the lawsuit.



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  • GW One
    Posted at 09:05h, 13 July Reply

    The Governor has no concept of right from wrong. He’s an incompetent power grabber and a lawless Governor. He has done all he can ,using COVID, to deflect attention from the thousands of unemployed Illinoisans that can’t collect unemployment because they can’t enroll; masterminded 2 years of unbalanced budgets full of pork that rendered the state penniless; and has stood by as 5 state pension plans rapidly approach the state’s inability to meet its obligation to pensioners. Thank goodness for attorney Tom Devore. He’s proven time and time again, in courts of law, just how patently wrong you think and act. The thought has crossed my mind that a, “Go Fund Me for Tom Devore,” makes a lot of sense.

  • Mags
    Posted at 09:53h, 13 July Reply

    The IHSA needs to be looked into as well. They are tight with the School Superintendents. The IHSA put pressure years ago on Dance Team, Cheerleading and Marching Bands to be part of the organization.

    Years ago, as a parent I started looking into the IHSA and came to the conclusion that they are possibly a money laundering organization for our Local School Districts. The local school districts pay them fees that amount to a significant amount of money, but the IHSA just like the IASB (Illinois Association of School Boards) and many other lobbying groups, are not subject to FOIA.

    Therefore, hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars are being funneled to these organizations with no oversight.

    Too much organizing with these groups, which diminishes the LOCAL control each school district is supposed to have.

    This is all union control in the State of Illinois.

    • Ed Haas
      Posted at 14:57h, 13 July Reply

      The IHSA does not charge membership fees, nor does it charge for schools to enter into events. They also publish financial statements yearly, which are done by independent auditors. Maybe you have some information that I don’t, but I do not see why you think the IHSA is getting hundreds of thousands of taxpayer’s dollars.

    • Michael Loos
      Posted at 17:21h, 13 July Reply

      Mags, the IHSA may not be covered in FOIA requests, but the school district, i would think, are. An FOIA request to the school district with a search parameter of IHSA might yield some nice email threads 🙂

      • Mags
        Posted at 18:45h, 14 July Reply

        I can FOIA the School District to find out how much money went to the IHSA, but after that I have no idea how the IHSA is spending the money. Financials do not give enough specifics as to salaries, benefits, etc…

        As I said, any organization/lobbying group that gets the majority of their revenue from taxpayer money should be subject to FOIA, but our Legislators will not take any action.

        I have tried pushing this for years.

        That speaks volumes.

    • Lock
      Posted at 19:41h, 13 July Reply

      That is absolutely incorrect.

      I don’t agree with their process in back to play guidelines, however your statements on schools paying them is absolutely wrong.

      The IHSA is funded by gate fees at events. Schools collect gates, and pass through a percentage to the IHSA for state series. There are no membership fees at all.

      Just providing clarity as a former athletic director.

      • Mags
        Posted at 18:42h, 14 July Reply

        Thank you, that is what I meant by fees.

        The dance, cheerleading and marching band competitions brought in significant revenue at the competitions.

        I do not know if the Marching Bands had to be part of the IHSA since I am out of the school district, but I do believe they managed to get the Dance Teams and Cheerleaders on board

  • Dave
    Posted at 10:11h, 13 July Reply

    Many of the democrats in state government and certainly Gov Pritzker have no respect for the law. They are ideologically driven and have no love for the law. They are unconcerned with whether their desires for government action are legal. Their basis for what is right or wrong is how strongly they ‘feel’ about it. If they think something ought to be this way or that, then they don’t care what the law says or the reason it was written that way. Only their opinion counts.

  • Gig48
    Posted at 10:14h, 13 July Reply

    I’m convinced Pritzker is making Illinois a communist test state.
    It’s just a mask.
    It’s just six feet.
    It’s just two weeks.
    It’s just non-essential businesses.
    It’s just non-essential workers.
    It’s just a bar.
    It’s just a restaurant.
    It’s just to keep from overwhelming the hospitals.
    It’s just until the cases go down.
    It’s just to flatten the curve.
    It’s just a few inmates.
    It’s just to keep others from being scared.
    It’s just for a few more weeks.
    It’s just church. You could still pray.
    It’s just prayer.
    It’s just until we get a vaccine.
    It’s just a bracelet.
    It’s just an app.
    It’s just for tracing.
    It’s just to let people know you’re safe to be around.
    It’s just to let others know who you’ve been in contact with.
    It’s just a few more months.
    It’s just some more inmates.
    It’s just a video.
    It’s just a post.
    It’s just an email account.
    It’s just for protecting other from hate speech.
    It’s just for protecting others from hurt feelings.
    It’s just a large gathering but for protests.
    It’s just a few violent protests.
    It’s just a little micro chip.
    It’s just a blood test.
    It’s just a test.
    It’s just a scan.
    It’s just for medical information.
    It’s just to store a vaccination certificate.
    It’s just like a credit card.
    It’s just a few places that don’t take cash.
    It’s just so you can travel.
    It’s just so you can get your driver’s license.
    It’s just so you can vote.
    It’s just mail-in voting.
    It’s just a few more years.
    It’s just a statue.
    It’s just a monument.
    It’s just a building.
    It’s just a song.
    It’s just a lyric.
    It’s just an anthem.
    It’s just a few words.
    It’s just a piece of paper.
    It’s just a book.
    It’s just a movie.
    It’s just a TV show.
    It’s just a cartoon character.
    It’s just a piece of cloth.
    It’s just a flag.
    It’s just a dog at a protest.
    It’s just a clump of cells.
    It’s just a fetus.
    It’s just a religion.
    It’s just a holiday.
    It’s just your guns.
    It’s just the police.
    It’s just the military
    It’s just your freedoms….gone forever.
    And “It’s just” the way they planned it.
    2% of the impassioned can rule over the 98% apathetic.
    It’s not like we don’t see it coming.
    Please America, collectively as a nation of god fearing law abiding citizens of the United States… we MUST FIGHT BACK.
    WE MUST.
    BEFORE ITS ALL GONE and we won’t have the ability to get it back.

    • HT
      Posted at 21:51h, 13 July Reply

      Well, that’s great that there are still people w/ brains and memories to keep track of these tyrants and their subtle nudges toward complete devastation of the basic American way of life.

      That’s is always how socialists play. Just a little bit of this and just a little bid of that, and a budding socially idealist socialists will mature into a full-blown commie without anyone noticing that transformation.

      Eventually when our noses is just 3 inches above water, we’ll skin out parents and sell our kids to maintain the last inch above water.

      Sadly, most folks are in constant slumber, from what I don’t know, and won’t see any threats until it’s too late.

    • Upf
      Posted at 17:36h, 14 July Reply

      Law abiding? You’re an idiot. You are part of the problem.

  • KEL
    Posted at 11:53h, 13 July Reply

    I have just been told that my kids must wear a mask to attend school, no exceptions (other than medical excuse). If I choose to keep them home and do an e-learning option, then they will not be allowed to participate in school sports programs. Even though they would be doing e-learning through the school, my straight A student who loves sports will not be allowed to participate. At what point does this madness end? Now I’m considering do I fight and get an attorney or do I just homeschool my kids and start a new lifestyle? So sick of being bullied!

  • Lyn P
    Posted at 12:22h, 13 July Reply

    What GW ONE said.
    JB Grabster has no concept of Governing vs. RULING.
    DeVore is near single-handedly trying to save the state as an actual place of distributed laws and rights…a lot of potential cascading lawsuit will stand on his shoulders.
    I’m not the type to start a Go-Fund-Me, but if I hear of one I’ll donate.

  • Lyn P
    Posted at 12:29h, 13 July Reply

    Comment #2: AND exactly what GIG48 said.
    Knowing the end-games of Commie-dom one sees the steps for what they are; that list is excellent.
    L Leadfoot is part of this game as well, I have zero confidence in her “economic revitalization plan” as her end goal is a really a NWO-style city where the residents do NOT govern themselves or have a say in the dictates of the leaders.

  • Ron.
    Posted at 18:11h, 13 July Reply


    • HT
      Posted at 22:01h, 13 July Reply

      Well, slow down there classy genius. To what science are you referring? Is it the science of fear?

      Do you know what is called “the scientific method?” You must, since you obviously believe in science.

      Well, then, please enlighten everyone on when did any of the so-called science or models that your leaders used to scare your pants off of you, were ever peer reviewed, validated, or replicated?

      It’s a simple task for you, if there any science behind any of the talking points at all.

      Please, enlighten us. Please!!

      About wishing people pack up and move. Don’t have to wish too hard, many of us are now working out our plans.

    • HT
      Posted at 22:06h, 13 July Reply

      By the way, what did you mother do to you, or anyone’s mothers, for that matter, that made you such a horrible person? Aren’t leftists usually all about women’s rights and all that good stuff?

      What I have seen from profane trash that constantly reference mothers and profanity in the same sentence is that they hate people in general.

      Have some respect for the person who participated in giving you life. Grow up.

  • Marty Y
    Posted at 19:40h, 13 July Reply

    Isn’t it interesting that the only two negative comments to this article are full of nasty words and absolutely no facts.

  • Ethan
    Posted at 00:30h, 14 July Reply

    The governor is not taking power that he does not already have here. IHSA oversees programs run in PUBLIC school facilities, and for them to continue those operations, they must listen to the government working in the interest of public health. We are in the midst of a pandemic, these requirements outline are not overreach whatsoever. The government has the authority to JAIL those not wearing masks, as shown during 1918 in the Spanish flu outbreak. This is the bare minimum to keep these children safe, you are ignorant for suggesting that this is for any reason other than public health and the safety of our children.

    • HT
      Posted at 00:53h, 14 July Reply

      Are you apply for a job as prickster’s second AG? Sounds like you got the job.

      On what authority or laws does your government have to jail anyone for not wearing masks? Are you just jumping the gun a bit premature here? I mean, the rules of your communist party, as of now, are still well outside of the US. So, even through big brother Chicom is flexing its muscles against their own citizens in the mainland and Hong Kong, they’ve yet to bring their claws here.

      You must be all excited about jailing maskless Americans since there are empty jail cells made empty when your lunatic democrats who decided to release convicted criminals beginning in March.

      Let’s me get this straight. Release convicted criminals who have committed crimes and violated actual laws passed by the legislature. Jail free, law abiding citizens because you’re angry that they don’t cower down to lawless decrees and executive orders that were based on vague evidence at best.

      Got it, comrade! Good comrade!

    • John Kraft & Kirk Allen
      Posted at 08:41h, 14 July Reply

      No. Thye cannot jail people for not wearing a mask.

    • PK
      Posted at 03:24h, 16 July Reply

      Has IHSA sought to modify regional conferences and/or conference tournaments so as to limit travel, exposure, etc? Has not MLB exampled how to do this already?

  • Greg McKenney
    Posted at 07:42h, 14 July Reply

    Rules of the game. Let’s assume we’re discussing football. The sanctioning organization controls the rules, some of which pertain to safety. Like all players must wear a helmet. Now if they put in a new rule that all players must wear a mask and test negative for the virus and not be running a fever, do you consider that fair? These folks are just doing the best they can to keep everyone safe. It’s not an attack on your freedom. Your school doesn’t have to be sanctioned by this organization to have a football team. You can organize your own association under your own set of rules and sign up all teams that don’t want to make players wear a mask. Be safe, wash your hands, wear your mask, wash your hands again, and pray someone you care about doesn’t get very sick and possibly die from this virus.

    • PK
      Posted at 03:05h, 16 July Reply

      Penalty flags on the field.

      Referees are sorting out hazard. Is the call on the field Illegal hands to the face, facemasking, or no-facemask.

  • PK
    Posted at 02:31h, 16 July Reply

    Okay to put-in for entertainment value I guess. Yer moonwalk reads like a dodo’s gate, smells of sulfer, and sounds alot less thriller.

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