COVID-19

Taos athletic director suspends summer practices over accusations of 'protocol infractions'

Concern over spread of COVID-19 over the holiday weekend another deciding factor

By Matthew Narvaiz
mnarvaiz@taosnews.com
Posted 7/6/20

Mae LaBella, the incoming athletic director at Taos High School, sent out a text to coaches on Saturday (July 4) letting them know that practices would be halted due to accusations that coaches weren't properly following the guidelines set forth by the New Mexico Activities Association.

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COVID-19

Taos athletic director suspends summer practices over accusations of 'protocol infractions'

Concern over spread of COVID-19 over the holiday weekend another deciding factor

Posted

Mae LaBella, the incoming athletic director at Taos High School, sent out a text to coaches on Saturday (July 4) letting them know that practices would be halted due to accusations that coaches weren't properly following the guidelines set forth by the New Mexico Activities Association.

LaBella said the decision was made by a combination of people, including the Taos Municipal Schools board president, superintendent Lillian Torrez and herself.

There was an accusation that coaches weren't wearing masks, according to Taos football coach Art Abreu Jr., one of the coaches who received the text from LaBella.

"Our summer programs got put on hold," Abreu said. "Someone made an accusation that coaches weren't wearing a mask."

It isn't entirely clear what sport – or coach – the accusation was made against. LaBella declined to elaborate on what "protocol infraction" was committed, but said that coaches had clear guidelines to follow such as "not wearing masks or congregating."

LaBella said that "a complaint was received regarding proper protocol infractions," which prompts a review. But she declined to discuss what protocol wasn't followed.

She added that the expected rise in cases after the July 4 weekend was another factor, adding that districts around the state are doing the same "until further review of the pandemic results." 

LaBella said that on July 23, the Taos Municipal school board will make the final decision regarding if practice will go on as planned.

Sports teams are still in phase one, which includes that coaches must wear masks at practice at all times. 

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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