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Senate committee will consider prep sports bill

If Senate Bill 489 is adopted by the Nevada Legislature, five California schools, including South Tahoe High, will no longer be able to compete in athletics for Nevada championships.

Scheduled for committee review Friday at 11 a.m., the bill will make California schools ineligible for Nevada championships but will allow them to participate during the regular season.

“There’s no other school in the nation that has won state championships in a state other than its own except in Nevada,” said Jeff Knutson, a football coach from Moapa Valley High, near Las Vegas. “It’s not right for a Nevada school to have to go to California to win a Nevada state championship.



“I don’t see it as a negative action. There are eight other states that do this and work fine like this.”

South Tahoe High Athletic Director Frank Kovac disagrees.




“It would be pointless for us to compete but not be eligible for state championship,” Kovac said.

Kovac said the five California schools – South Tahoe, North Tahoe, Tahoe-Truckee, Needles and Coleville – compete in Nevada athletics for convenience and safety purposes. If the Tahoe schools are forced to compete in their own state, the teams would have to face winter travel hazards.

“We’ll be competing with teams in Sacramento and Placerville and having to travel over Highway 50 in the winter, when it’s snowing,” Kovac said.

According to Kovac, South Tahoe High has been a member of Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association since it was invited to join in 1982. Since then, there have been three attempts to remove California schools from state competition. The NIAA rejected all three.

Reviewing the bill on Friday will be the Committee on Human Resources and Facilities. On the committee are Sens. Mark Amodei, R-Clark; Bernice Mathews, D-Washoe; Raymond Rawson, R-Clark; Michael Schneider, D-Clark; Randolph Townsend, R-Capital Senatorial District; Maurice Washington, R-Washoe; and Valerie Weiner, D-Clark.

What: Nevada Senate Bill 489 will be reviewed by Committee on Human Resources and Facilities. SB 489 blocks California schools from competing in Nevada championships but allows them to compete in regular season games

When: Friday, April 2. 11 a.m.

Where: Carson City, Legislative Building, Room 2135


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