ATLANTA -- The GHSA looked into moving the state championships at Georgia State Stadium, formerly known as Turner Field, and tried to reschedule the games at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. But they ultimately decided to stick to their original contingency plan after postponing the games because of weather.
In an interview with 11Alive, GHSA Director Dr. Robin Hines said they explored other stadiums when deciding whether or not to postpone six of the eight state championship games because of the snow and ice in the metro Atlanta area. However, the schools were mostly in favor of the original plan, according to Hines.
"We had conversations with Georgia State. This was moving fast, we had to make these decisions as quickly as we could make those decisions," Hines said.
But the plans were already in place for the higher-seeded schools to host the title games the following weekend. According to Hines, the plans to move from neutral sites have been in the rules for some time. They posted them on their website and on social media, and the schools were aware of them.
The GHSA tried to reschedule for Mercedes-Benz Stadium the following weekend, but the stadium is hosting the Celebration Bowl on Saturday and practices on Friday. They also looked to host the games at Georgia State Stadium, and while there weren't any apparent scheduling conflicts, the GHSA couldn't get enough support from all the schools.
"All of the schools weren’t willing to do that, they wanted to stick with the contingency plan we had in place. Integrity is important, that’s what we said we were going to do, and that’s what we did," Hines said.
And as for playing on Sunday, the GHSA didn't even think about changing or temporarily waiving its bylaw that forbids it.
"It’s against our bylaws," Hines said. "It was not an option for us."
Bylaws and rule changes must be approved by the Board of Trustees.
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