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NIAA to hear reports on Gorman, private schools

It was hinted at several times Monday. Even brought up in public comment, and tap-danced around in talk about proposed membership categories.

But the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Board of Control’s discussion about the public/private school debate, or more specifically what to do about Bishop Gorman, hasn’t come yet.

The topic likely will be raised after the board reconvenes at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at The Orleans. But it’s a debate that won’t be resolved Tuesday.

“I don’t know that there’s much to discuss,” NIAA executive director Eddie Bonine said. “The subcommittee (that met on May 2) will give its report. The school district will give its report, but I just don’t see it being anything heated.

“I don’t see it being a conflict.”

On Monday, a Gorman alumnus read a short, prepared statement during the first round of public comment, but no one else in the sparsely attended meeting asked to speak.

“Faith Lutheran, Gorman, Bishop Manogue, as far as the record is concerned, they all have the same number of violations,” said Victor Perea, who added that he received tuition assistance but did not play sports while attending Gorman. “I’m not saying my alma mater has never done anything wrong. If there is a violation of rules or cheating, then absolutely it needs to be addressed.”

That was the extent of mentioning Bishop Gorman by name.

The board held off on approving an associate membership status, which was discussed mainly as a way to help smaller schools, especially new members, gain a sort of independent status as they build programs. Associate members would agree to not play for championships and would play a limited schedule against public and private schools.

NIAA legal counsel Paul Anderson appeared to hint at that status being used for another reason, either as a spot for Bishop Gorman or for the Clark County School District, should it decide it no longer wants to play Gorman.

“I just believe that with the state of things at this time, it’s a divisive issue,” Anderson said. “It can be read to serve a different purpose, and that would be for a block of schools to no longer participate at the level they are now.”

The board asked for more specific language and asked that associate membership applications include the approval of principals and superintendent. It’s likely to be brought up again at the board’s next meeting in October.

“It brings a lot of latitude for a lot of different types of member schools,” said board member Ray Mathis, the CCSD’s executive athletic director. “We do need to do some additional language before we vote on it.”

FINDLAY IN — The Board approved a preparatory school membership which will eventually give Findlay Prep’s boys basketball team a home.

The membership specifies that the school will pay member dues, but not compete for league, region or state championships, not have Nevada residents on its team and have only high-school eligible players.

Findlay Prep, in turn, will get sanctioning from the National Federation of High Schools, which clears the team to play other NFHS schools around the country.

"We did this to assist them," said Anderson. "We did this for Findlay Prep, because it fits their model."

Findlay Prep basically has been an unofficial member, getting clearance to play a small handful of Nevada schools each year.

The membership status still must be approved by legislative council bureau before it becomes official.

MORE CHAMPIONSHIPS — The board also approved adding a handful of classification championships to coincide with the realignment that takes effect this season.

For a sport to have its own championship status, NIAA rules state there must be nine schools or teams competing in that sport in each class.

Boys volleyball will add a championship in Division I-A, though it has only eight schools. The championship was added on a two-year pilot basis.

"On a personal level, I just don’t think it’s fair to take these eight schools and say you’re going to play Division I. I know it’s eight, but I think it’s what’s right for schools," said CCSD athletic director Pam Sloan.

Bowling also will be added for Division I-A.

Girls golf will add a Division III championship, which will require qualifying.

Wrestling will add a Division IV championship.

Not approved, though, were championships in Division III boys and girls soccer and Division IV cross country.

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