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Data: MaxPreps, Axios research; Cartogram: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

As local governments go to war over whether high schools can open, the fate of the fall sports season hangs in the balance.

The state of play: The National Federation of State High School Associations has offered a 16-page guide to help states resume athletics, but with so many organizations and school districts involved, there has been little uniformity.

  • The majority of states have announced delays or postponements for some or all fall sports, while 15 are still planning to hold normal fall sports seasons.

Why it matters: Whether seasons start as scheduled, get delayed or move to 2021, high school athletes will be impacted in myriad ways.

  • Exercise: Physical activity levels of high school athletes have declined 50% since May, according to a recent University of Wisconsin study.
  • Mental health: That same study suggests two-thirds of high school athletes are experiencing depression and anxiety due to canceled seasons.
  • Recruiting: A reshuffled high school sports schedule could negatively impact recruiting, and multi-sport athletes will face difficult decisions if seasons overlap (as is the case in California).

Go deeper: What a school day looks like in a pandemic

Go deeper

Kendall Baker, author of Sports
Oct 30, 2020 - Sports

High school football's pandemic struggles

A flag football game in Maine this month. Photo: Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

High school football is a staple of fall Fridays across America. But due to the pandemic, that's only true in certain parts of the country this year.

The state of play: In some states, the playoffs are right around the corner. In other states, the season just began. And in 16 states, plus Washington, D.C., high school football won't happen until 2021.

N.Y. Times faces culture clashes as business booms

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

New York Times columnist David Brooks' resignation from a paid gig at a think tank on Saturday is the latest in a flurry of scandals that America's biggest and most successful newspaper company has endured in the past year.

Driving the news: Brooks resigned from the Aspen Institute following a BuzzFeed News investigation that uncovered conflicts of interest between his reporting and money he accepted from corporate donors for a project called "Weave" that he worked on at the nonprofit.

America rebalances its post-Trump news diet

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Nearly halfway through President Biden's first 100 days, data shows that Americans are learning to wean themselves off of news — and especially politics.

Why it matters: The departure of former President Trump's once-ubiquitous presence in the news cycle has reoriented the country's attention.