The Clark County School District has proposed cutbacks in all high school sports schedules beginning in the fall, district executive director of athletics Ray Mathis said Monday.
Mathis said the proposal, which could change if the 15 percent cut from the district’s athletics budget is altered, will “affect all sports in general, fall, winter and spring.”
The proposed cuts would save the district roughly $850,000, Mathis said.
The hardest-hit areas would be junior varsity and freshmen teams, which could wind up playing nothing but league games, Mathis said.
In varsity football, the district will trim regular-season schedules from a maximum of 10 games to nine, preventing its schools from participating in Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Hall of Fame Games.
In past years, teams paid an extra amount — home teams $500 and visiting teams $250 — to play a 10th game. That money went to the NIAA for use with its Hall of Fame.
“It’s one less opportunity for kids to go out there and get better and compete,” Del Sol coach Preston Goroff said. “But with the way the economy is and everything else, everything’s taking hits, so you’ve just got to roll with it.
“It’s not going to kill you, it’s just another way to get a little bit better.”
Mathis said the cost to play a regular-season football game is about $2,500, which includes the cost of officials, security officers and transportation.
Of the 36 CCSD football-playing schools, 22 played a 10th regular-season game last season. Two others were scheduled to play, but the game never took place.
If the same number scheduled a 10th game for next season, cutting those games would save the school district more than $30,000.
“The national average for football is about nine games per team,” Mathis said. “Not all of our schools could afford to pay to play a 10th game. We want all CCSD schools to be on a fair playing field.”
In varsity basketball, CCSD teams would no longer be able to add additional games if they elect not to compete in regular-season tournaments.
The NIAA’s policy allows teams to play in 20 regular-season games plus two tournaments. Teams can substitute three games for one tournament.
“That will be stopped temporarily for at least a year,” Mathis said. “As we gain our budget back, hopefully we will be able to implement some of that back.”
NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson said the state association has yet to change its policy but that it understands why the district would make the cuts.
“Certainly, individual games are more expensive than tournaments,” he said.
Mathis said the district began formulating the proposal late last year, when the CCSD Board of Trustees voted to reduce the district’s athletic budget by 15 percent for the 2009-10 school year.
“We’ve been slowly going through a process to figure out the best way to do it so it has the least effect on all athletics,” Mathis said. “We’re trying not to penalize any one sport.”
Las Vegas High athletic director Art Plunkett praised the district for proposing the cuts “with the kids in mind.” He cited cutting a combination of varsity, junior varsity and freshmen schedules as a positive, rather than eliminating lower-level sports entirely.
“The problem’s not the teams playing,” Plunkett said. “It’s the cost of buses, officials. The more games you have, the more expensive it is. It takes a lot of people to run a game.”
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at taird@ reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5203.