HOUSTON - Fort Bend ISD is the first school district in Houston to officially push back the start of the 2020-2021 athletic calendar.
During a board meeting on Monday night, Fort Bend ISD announced that the 2020-21 school year will begin 100 percent online "in order to give students, parents and staff an opportunity to adjust to online learning and safety procedures."
One of the caveats to that order was that there would be "No in-person extracurriculars will occur during this period of distance learning".
This means the athletics season for Fort Bend ISD will have to wait.
Fort Bend ISD will begin the 2020-21 School Year 100% online in order to give students, parents and staff an opportunity to adjust to online learning and safety procedures. No in-person extracurriculars will occur during this period of distance learning.
— Fort Bend ISD (@FortBendISD) July 14, 2020
According to the FBISD 2020-2021 calendar, the fall semester is supposed to begin August 12, which will now be 100 percent online.
Fort Bend ISD includes 11 high schools (FB Austin, Bush, Clements, Dulles, Elkins, Hightower, Kempner, Marshall, Ridge Point, Travis and Willowridge), making it the third largest school district in Houston behind Houston ISD and Cy-Fair ISD.
Volleyball was slated to start tryouts August 3, first scrimmages August 7 and first matches on August 10. Football would have started practice August 3 and games starting August 27 at the earliest.
On the football field, there were some notable non-district football games slated for the opening three weeks. Travis was set to open the season against Spring on August 28 on the road and Hightower was set to play Westfield and Ridge Point was set to travel to Dickinson in Week 2, on September 4.
Among the 11 schools includes volleyball-power Ridge Point and football-power Fort Bend Marshall.
Ridge Point volleyball headed into the 2020 season coming off back-to-back appearances at the UIL State Volleyball Tournament in Garland, while Fort Bend Marshall football has played in back-to-back Class 5A Division II State Championship games.
Fort Bend ISD was originally planning to make a return to Strength and Conditioning Camps this week to continue preparing for the start of the season.
Houston-area school districts have been releasing their plans to return to school for the fall but Fort Bend ISD is the first to state that they will be 100 percent online and no extracurricular activities to begin.
The UIL last week released guidelines that stated students who elected to learn online were eligible for athletics barring they met the normal eligibility standards. But they also did leave that open to the districts to make local decisions that best-fit their situation. In an email to coaches last Wednesday, the UIL did state it "plans to begin fall competition seasons as scheduled on the UIL calendar."
Other school districts may, but Fort Bend ISD will not be a part of that opening group.
Fort Bend ISD coaches were not available for comment at the time of this story. VYPE has reached out to the FBISD Athletics Department and will continue to update this story as we obtain more information.
HOUSTON – It was 1972 and Robert Taylor was attending Texas Southern University when he won a gold and silver medal at the Olympics that summer.
Nearly 50 years later, Katy High School cornerback Bobby Taylor – the grandson of Robert – has received an offer to play at his grandfather's alma mater. The offer came the same day of Bobby sending this tweet.
"Sometimes you have to be the change," Taylor wrote on his personal Twitter account. "HBCU's [where you at?]."
HBCU is an acronym for Historically Black Colleges and Universities and today, there are more than 100 public and private schools that have earned the HBCU designation from the United States Department of Education.
In Texas, Prairie View A&M, Texas Southern and Texas Southern – Thurgood Marshall School of Law are four-year public colleges, while St. Phillip's College is a two-year public college. In the private college realm, Huston-Tillotson University, Jarvis Christian College, Paul Quinn College, Southwestern Christian College, Texas College and Wiley College meet the criteria.
"My grandfather he was one of the best to do it when it came to track and field. Him taking his talents to a HBCU, I know it's a different age now. Everybody wants to go to the big DI schools like Alabama, LSU, Ohio State. But eventually we have to get back to the HBCU's.
"If one person can kick it off, I'm pretty sure a few other guys would follow. I'm considering a HBCU heavily, because if I can be that one person to set it off and have everybody else follow, that'd be big."
Recently, HBCU's have made their way into national headlines when it comes to recruiting.
On July 3, five-star hoops prospect Makur Maker committed to Howard (an HBCU) over UCLA – a historic Power 5 basketball program. This move sent shockwaves through the recruiting landscape.
"I'm pretty sure that took the nation by storm," Taylor said about Maker's decision. "Everybody knows him nationwide because of that decision. It takes a sacrifice because I know some HBCU's don't have the facilities, stadiums or connections as everybody else at the big DI's. But if you go there and play and ball out, anything is possible."
On the football field, Korey Foreman – the No. 1 player in the Class of 2021 – included Howard amongst his Top 7 schools (Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, LSU, Oregon, Howard, and USC) on July 9.
Could Bobby Taylor be the next national recruit to join the growing trend?
"I most definitely see a trend," Taylor said. "I feel like once that one person does it, I feel like it could start a ripple effect."
On July 5, Taylor – a four-star prospect, according to 247Sports.com – released his Top 12, which included Arizona State, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Alabama, Oklahoma, LSU, USC, Florida State, Arkansas, Auburn and Baylor.
Since his tweet, Texas Southern and Southern University (Both HBCU's) have thrown their hats in the ring for the talented cornerback.
Before Taylor exploded onto the recruiting scene – which he now has 25 offers and counting – he attended a TSU Junior Day as a freshman. Taylor remembered back to that day when they didn't offer him because they knew he would be big-time.
"Now that I am, it feels good to be able to reach out to them and say I'm interested," Taylor said.
When asked on a scale of 1 to 10, where he would gauge his interest in considering a HBCU, Taylor said it would be around a six or seven.
"When I do narrow my list down from the 12 to a seven or five, I could definitely see myself having at least one HBCU on that list," Taylor said.
Playing for a blue-chip program wouldn't come as a surprise to any.
Bobby's father played for Notre Dame – after a successful high school career at Longview High School – before heading into the NFL. But considering a HBCU is high on his list, Taylor said because he wants to "be the change".
"If I do commit to a HBCU, of course I want to better their facilities," Taylor said. "If we can get some of the better players to commit to an HBCU and say we do go to the NFL from there we could give back. Put back into their facilities and make sure that everybody else's opportunity just gets better and get the same opportunity they would if they did go to a big DI school."
Looking forward, Taylor said he would release a Top 7 or Top 5 entering his senior year, once he is done athletically and academically with his junior campaign.
Could a HBCU be in that mix? We will just have to wait and see.