Coaches have authority at Carson

Politics have always been a part of high school sports. So it didn't surprise me when the recent controversy surrounding the McQueen baseball team took place.

To recap, a player was cut from the Lancers' baseball team and the parents eventually appealed to the Washoe County School Board. The board relented and voted to require that the player be placed on the varsity team. After all the media attention that the situation received, the player understandably quit the club.

Could something like this ever happen in the Carson City School District or at Carson High. If the school district's policy on interscholastic athletics is strictly followed, the answer is no.

Policy No. 214, article IV, section 5 in the district's policy on sports is clear cut. It states: "The coach has the authority for selecting participants in each athletic activity, determining the length of playing time and substitution during play."

This covers all schools in the district and even a loose intrepretation of the policy would at least strongly suggest that the coach has the authority to decide not only who plays, but when they play and for how long.

"Our board has never gotten into telling a coach that you've got to put a kid on a team," district superintendent Mary Pierczynski said. "I've never known it to happen.

"Our policy's pretty clear. It's pretty clear that the coach is the one putting together a team."

Piercyzynski said she only knows about the McQueen situation what she has read. "I hate to comment on the McQueen thing," she said. "I don't know about it."

There have been situations where the district has had to make special arrangements for students to participate in sports. Pierczynski remembered a situation when she was principal at Eagle Valley Middle School when a deaf student was on the wrestling team and an intrepreter was at all the events.

A similar situation happened last year when Chelsa Owen-Self, who is legally deaf, played for the CHS junior varsity girls basketball team. Again an intrepreter was provided at all practices and games. But in each case, the student earned a place on the team.

"We've had to make some accomodations for some kids," Pierczynski said. You've jhust have to be good enough to make the team."

Pierczynski said there is a code of ethics that coaches have to follow and she could see a situation where the district would become involved if a coach violated that code.

Parents aren't left without any recourse. Article I, section 4 allows for complaints to be made and states:

"Any formal complaint in regard to a coach or coaching responsibilities must be presented directly to the athletic director in writing. The athletic director will investigate the charges, confer with the coach and/or complainant as necessary, and respond in writing with 15 calendar days. If satisfactory agreement is not reached, either party may appeal to the next higher level within 10 calendar days.

"The board of school trustees is the final level of appeal. All decisions of the board of trustees will be final."

The policy also states that those who have a problem with a coach are urged to first take it up with the coach.

There's also a policy that states professional problems should not be settled in the public press. I don't know what Washoe County's policy is, but it's clear to me that McQueen coach Brian Nelson would have violated Carson's policy when talking publicly abut the situation with his team.

While most Carson coaches do follow this policy, I wished that all the coaches would strictly adher to article VII, section 1 which states the coach has the responsibility to provide news about the team and players to the media. I think parents would also agree with me on that.


KPTL 1300 radio has begun providing live broadcasts of Carson High baseball that will run through the rest of the season. The broadcast schedule will be:

Saturday, April 9 - North Valleys, doubleheader, 12:45 p.m.; Tuesday, April 12, McQueen, 3:15 p.m.; Thursday, April 14, South Tahoe, 3:15 p.m.; Tuesday, April 19, Bishop Manogue, 4:45 p.m.; Thursday, April 21, Wooster, 3:15 p.m.; Thursday, April 28, at Reno High, 3:15 p.m.; Friday, April 29, Reno High, doubleheader, 4:45 p.m.; Thursday, May 5, Douglas, 3:15 p.m.; Saturday, May 7, at Douglas, doubleheader, 12:45 p.m.

If Carson advances to the zone playoffs or even to the state tournament, KPTL will broadcast all those games as well.


The 24-0-1 University of Nevada roller hockey team will head to the Division II National Collegiate Roller Hockey Championships as the No. 1 seed. The national tournament will be held from April 13-17 in Ft. Collins, Colo. The Wolf Pack will play Maine, St. Louis and Miami in pool play for the right to advance to the quarterfinals.

Nevada features three Carson Country players - CHS graduates Steve Caloiaro and John Ahudunko and Douglas graduate Andy Weiss-Berg.


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