Should Bishop Gorman play for state titles against public schools?
Tribune News Service
If you are a high school sports enthusiast, mark Tuesday on your calendar. It’s a day that could change the landscape of high school sports forever.
According to a memo released to board members, the NIAA Board of Directors and NIAA member schools, there will be discussion during a meeting at the Peppermill Hotel & Casino about the possibility of splitting private schools and public schools in the post-season. The meeting starts at 9 a.m., and NIAA officials said they won’t comment about the memo until after Tuesday’s meeting.
The move is obviously aimed at Vegas powerhouse Bishop Gorman.
Many in Northern and Southern Nevada have expressed displeasure over Bishop Gorman’s continued dominance of high school sports, particularly in high school football, basketball and baseball. Gorman has won four of the last five state football titles, the last six baseball titles and three of the last four boys’ basketball crowns.
Parents and administrators have long been angry, at least for the eight years I’ve been here, because Gorman and other private schools aren’t governed by zoning regulations. Las Vegas has approximately 2 million people in the metro area, and that’s a pretty big pot to draw from.
Backers of the playoff split know that Gorman will still dominate because there are so few private schools around. The ones that I know of are Gorman, Bishop Manogue, Agassi Prep, Faith Lutheran, The Meadows and Sierra Lutheran and a few others.
Certainly all those schools operate the same way, but Manogue is the only one that can give Gorman a game in anything, and even then it’s not much of a game. Making those other schools switch would be a big mistake.
And, also on the NIAA agenda is Findlay Prep in Las Vegas. According to reports, Findlay Prep would like associate membership into the NIAA for boys’ basketball. Findlay is better than Gorman and draws players from all over the country, an even bigger advantage than what Gorman has in Nevada.
This situation reminds me of what happened to Bay Area powerhouse De La Salle several years ago. Teams were refusing to show up for football games, claiming they didn’t want to see players injured. They also didn’t want to get embarrassed.
A compromise was reached. For a few years, or at least until the next realignment cycle, the league had to guarantee De La Salle five games and it was done on a rotation basis. That left the Spartans scrambling to find four or five games. The Spartans were automatically seeded into the regional championships.
DLS was originally in a Catholic school league, but became so powerful that nobody wanted anything to do with them.
I was glad when the section allowed DLS to play for regional and state titles. De La Salle is good in basketball and baseball, but doesn’t dominate in those sports like Gorman does in Nevada.
I mean you could put a Northern Nevada all-star basketball team together and it wouldn’t come within 25 points of Gorman.
But what to do with Bishop Gorman? Do you let them compete against the public schools and then go face really bad private schools for a state championship? Or do you persuade them to play an independent schedule?
Certainly beating a good Reed team 73-28 in football and a decent Hug team 96-51 in basketball can’t be that big of a deal to the Gaels.
From talking to other coaches in the area, Gorman could have scored 100 in that football game. What team gets joy out of that kind of victory? Seems kind of hollow to me.
If I were a Gorman player, coach, administrator or parent, I’d seek bigger pastures to play in, especially in football and basketball. Sure it would be costly, but if you can afford a multi-million dollar weight facility, you can afford to drive to Arizona and Southern California for some games. I’ve heard through the rumor mill that Gorman was going to erect some sort of indoor football facility for summer football workouts. Now who else could afford that?
I don’t think Gorman should have to be independent in all sports, just football and boys basketball. I also think that Vegas-area schools should have to play them once in a while just so Gorman can get a decent amount of games in.
– Darrell Moody is the sports editor of the Nevada Appeal, which is the Sierra Sun’s sister paper in Carson City. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.