The entire football team at Crenshaw High School has been sidelined and won’t be able to participate in the playoffs because they don’t have enough fully vaccinated players to compete.
Under LAUSD’s vaccine mandate, students who want to play on sports teams must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Football teams must have at least 18 players who are fully vaccinated to compete, and Crenshaw only has 13, according to district officials.
Additionally, the district had indicated that student athletes who are not vaccinated would be left off rosters.
Late last month, the Los Angeles Times reported that thousands of student athletes could get kicked off a team for missing the district vaccine’s deadline of Oct. 31. Then, sure enough, LAUSD began removing unvaccinated student athletes from teams once the deadline passed.
The Cougars, typically a crown jewel within LAUSD, will not be able to play their first round City Section Division 1 playoff opener against South Gate’s South East High School, the L.A. Times reported.
South East now advances to the quarterfinals, and Crenshaw misses out on another shot at glory.
“I feel like it was a really a team collective decision, but I feel like they shouldn’t have to be vaccinated to play,” Ja’sean Reed, a senior at the school, told KTLA. He added that he is planning on getting inoculated soon because of sports.
Another student said that the players might lose their chance to be scouted by college officials by not participating in the playoffs.
One Crenshaw football player told KTLA that the school doesn’t want him speaking on camera, but he felt the vaccine mandate “isn’t right.”
Five-time city champion high school started the season with 14 players, built the roster up to 29 and played seven games, finishing with a 4-3 record.