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Death investigator, former coach urging lawmakers to let student-athletes play football

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BATON ROUGE - An investigator on the front line of the coronavirus pandemic has sent the Louisiana House Committee on Education a letter calling for the state to let high school athletes play this fall.

"I hope they understand, if they cancel football, those kids are still going gather on the weekends, " Shane Evans said.

The Chief of Investigations for the East Baton Rouge Coroner's Office,
is a former youth football coach and a COVID-19 survivor.

"I had a mild case of the virus," Evans said.

Evans also says high school sports is an important discipline for teenagers. It keeps them in shape, but, more importantly, he says it keeps them out of trouble.

"They are accountable to their coaches, for their grades. They are subject to random drug screenings as they have been in the past. To have those things they are accustomed to, having that school discipline back is a good thing," Evans said.

Investigators also say twice as many teenagers have been killed from homicide this year in East Baton Rouge Parish compared to this time last year, and he says the only difference is COVID-19 and the accompanying shutdowns.

"Well, what's the difference, other than not being more involved in schools at any level?" Evans said.

Evans is planning to testify before the House Committee on Education Friday morning when it meets at the state capitol to discuss holding fall sports.

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