State Sen. Vicki Marble and Rep. Dave Williams

State Sen. Vicki Marble of Fort Collins and Rep. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs speak to reporters at the Capitol in Denver on April 5, 2017.

State Rep. Dave Williams was fired up about high school football Saturday when he wrote a letter to Gov. Jared Polis.

The Republican lawmaker from Colorado Springs attended a mask-optional church gathering outdoors Saturday, he wrote. He said afterward it was time to loosen the restraints on high school football in the time of COVID-19.

"It’s shameful and cruel that the state government can negotiate a plan to allow the Denver Broncos to play in the fall while not making it a top priority to also let these student-athletes do the same," Williams wrote. "Colorado should not be in the business of granting wealthy interests, like NFL teams, special privileges while these families are forced to abide by a different set of unfair rules.

"These families and their children are willing to do whatever it takes to bring back fall football, including potentially suing you and CHSAA if progress isn’t made quickly. It doesn’t have to come to that, but if it does, then these parents will be absolutely justified in bringing their potential 'tortious interference with business opportunities' lawsuit against the state, and many of us will do whatever possible to help them find success with their litigation."

In announcing an agreement with the NFL team on Tuesday, Polis said if high schools wanted to play, "we would be thrilled to work with them to make it happen." He said it could apply to school districts with in-person learning, as long as it didn't interfere with students getting back into the classroom.

The state high school football association's board voted unanimously to play football in the spring to allow all schools a better chance to play.

At a press conference Friday, Polis reiterated his hope for a fall football season.

“Not every district is ready to do those, but I think many are," Polis said. "There’s still a window to figure that out. We are doing everything we can to facilitate this."

Williams e-mailed his letter to the governor's staff, House Republican Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock and Rhonda Blanford-Green, commissioner of the Colorado High School Activities Association.

The governor's office directed Colorado Politics to Polis' tweet on Friday:

"We are currently working with @CHSAA to approve variances for football and field hockey, and we will work together to develop guidelines or variances for additional sports at a later date and indoor sports when they can safely be played."

Williams wrote in the letter:

Governor Polis,

As a lawmaker representing Colorado House District 15, as well as the many students and families who would be harmed if football isn’t resumed this fall, I officially request that your administration find an immediate solution to allow these student-athletes the ability to compete on the field this year so they can have a chance to advance their educational careers in the future.

This letter was written shortly after I attended a peaceful protest where fellow citizens heard countless stories of the jeopardy some families face if their children aren’t given the chance to earn a scholarship to help pay for their higher education costs.

In addition to sports providing an opportunity for students to learn about integrity, sportsmanship, and fair-play, fall football also allows for families struggling economically to have an opportunity to help provide a better life for their talented children. The window for college scouts to assess student-athletes’ abilities occurs during the fall. If something isn’t done to immediately re-open competition, then the chance for these student-athletes to be awarded college scholarships will have passed them by through no fault of their own.

I encourage you to read their stories at www.letcoplay.com and do whatever possible to let them have a chance to earn a quality education in college and, ultimately, earn a better life.

It’s shameful and cruel that the state government can negotiate a plan to allow the Denver Broncos to play in the fall while not making it a top priority to also let these student-athletes do the same. Colorado should not be in the business of granting wealthy interests, like NFL teams, special privileges while these families are forced to abide by a different set of unfair rules.

These families and their children are willing to do whatever it takes to bring back fall football, including potentially suing you and CHSAA if progress isn’t made quickly. It doesn’t have to come to that, but if it does, then these parents will be absolutely justified in bringing their potential “tortious interference with business opportunities” lawsuit against the state, and many of us will do whatever possible to help them find success with their litigation.

Please work to calm this dire situation by finding a path forward that lets these kids play in the weeks to come.

Respectfully,

Dave Williams Representative, House District 15 (R) Colorado General Assembly

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