Gorman offers plan to be more transparent

The heavy artillery turned out to be a 4-foot-by-3-foot piece of poster board.

Bishop Gorman president John Kilduff used an oversized copy of bullet points at Tuesday’s Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association meeting at The Orleans in an attempt to accommodate peace between his school, other private schools, the Clark County School District and the NIAA.

And while it won’t end the discussion of whether or not a level playing field could exist between public and private schools, it may have gone a long way toward helping everyone get along.

“Our goal is just to be treated the same as the other member schools of the NIAA,” Kilduff said of the dominant Class 4A Gaels. “We’re very encouraged with the discussions we’ve had. We are just trying to accommodate those things that seem to be issues.”

Unhappy with the selection process of a private school/public school committee, Gorman declined to attend a meeting on May 2 at South Point.

Since then, Kilduff has met separately with representatives from the NIAA and the CCSD.

“It’s our desire to resolve these issues,” said Kilduff.

Kilduff presented six areas Gorman would address to help resolve the debate, and asked for three things in return. Each was spelled out on the giant poster board.

Among the areas Kilduff addressed were that Gorman would:

■ Require parents/guardians and student-athletes to sign a form agreeing to abide by NIAA rules and regulations addressing recruiting and tuition assistance, and agree that they understand the consequences for violation of these rules range from ineligibility to expulsion;

■ Require all potential transfer students and a parent/guardian to answer and have notarized a questionnaire which includes, but is not limited to, questions regarding recruiting, tuition assistance, residency and prior contact with Gorman coaches;

■ Agree to inform the NIAA as soon as the school identifies a student that receives more than 50 percent in tuition assistance is participating in a sanctioned sport. The school would cooperate with any inquiry made by the NIAA;

■ Agree to add to its tuition assistance agreement the line, “Accordingly, I agree to fully cooperate with the school and the NIAA in any investigation that may be brought regarding my son/daughter’s athletic eligibility, including providing a brief affidavit which identifies the source of funds used to pay the tuition of my son/daughter”;

■ And would assist the NIAA in conducting any bona fide investigation authorized by an NIAA executive committee upon a specific finding of reasonable suspicion of an NIAA rule violation. The NIAA will require similar assistance from CCSD member schools, particularly in cases involving suspected zone violations or recruiting.

“It’s a good starting point,” said NIAA executive director Eddie Bonine.

In return, Gorman asks the NIAA and CCSD for three things:

■ The NIAA and CCSD to not permit CCSD schools to forfeit athletic competitions with Gorman, and delineate meaningful sanctions for such forfeitures;

■ The CCSD administration to promote and encourage nonleague competition with Gorman and not condone any conspiratorial/group pressure or influence by principals to frustrate possible nonleague competition;

■ And the NIAA to schedule public and private school meetings three times each year.

“These are just proposals that we have been discussing,” Kilduff said. “No one has accepted or rejected anything.”

Clark County School District trustee Carolyn Edwards, a member of the board of control, said the next step will come when she meets with the CCSD’s principals in early August.

“I need to hear from them to see from them if it’s enough to address the concerns,” said Edwards, who added that she would meet with Gorman again within days of talking to the principals. “It’s going to take some time to resolve.”

But all sides seem to be encouraged just to be talking to each other.

“Our kids are no different. They want to compete for state titles,” Kilduff said. “They want to play competitive games. It’s no fun for our athletes to play lopsided games.”

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5230.

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