LVN Editorial: NIAA Board of Control doesn’t play fairly

Dayton High School head football coach Pat Squires works with his quarterbacks during practice.

Dayton High School head football coach Pat Squires works with his quarterbacks during practice.

The Dayton High School administration, coaches and parents discovered how inept the NIAA Board of Control is when pure logic decisions override protection of their fiefdoms.

Believe us when we say we feel your pain because Fallon faced the same problems, the same (il)logical arguments, the same indifference until the NIAA anointed the Greenwave and several other high schools to move down from the then 4A to 3A.

For years, the rest of the 4A used Fallon as a whipping boy in most sports although the wrestling team dominate their opponents until Spanish Springs snapped a 37-match winning streak in early 2008. We had some other successes ….back to back state volleyball champs, a state-championship boys golf team and middle of the pack success in basketball.

During Fallon’s time in the Northern 4A, the Wave was one of the smallest high schools in enrollment with most competitors having at least 1,000 more students.

Yes, we agree with Dayton. It is very hard to motivate players for difficult matchups, especially in football. During many seasons in the Northern 4A, Fallon’s roster dipped below 20 players, and facing such powerhouses like McQueen, Reed and Reno became a challenge in itself to return players to their homes that same night without injuries.

The NIAA Board of Control is back to sticking its collective heads into caverns where they don’t belong. First, the Board of Control includes nine representatives from four administrative regions. According to its website: “The NIAA is the governing body of high school athletics and activities in the Silver State as recognized by the Nevada state legislature … The NIAA ensures that Nevada’s student-athletes engage in pure competition under uniform regulations.”

We don’t feel these nine representatives are working for the best interest of student competition. When realignment occurred in 2009 for Fallon and other schools, the intent was to pair competitive schools together. Since that time, the NIAA Board of Control has used the 3A as a dumping ground for Las Vegas high schools that have enrollments nearing 3,000, almost triple of Churchill County. This is the system the Board of Control bestowed on us so that these huge Las Vegas high schools could be more competitive.

The Board of Control, though, shouldn’t shoulder all the blame. The Las Vegas principals nixed a very solid, researched plan to have a Southern 5A conference/division for the behemoth high schools and to offer some football field and basketball court fodder for Gorman High School.

Now, North Valleys jumps down to the 3A with its 2,700 pupil enrollment to be competitive again.

In its recent move, the Board of Control recently approved Valley High School to realign itself and beat up on the 3A, while turning a blind eye to Dayton.

We would like to see Dayton become more competitive although it has strong volleyball and baseball programs. Waiting until June, two months before the fall season begins, was an ill-advised move, though, on Dayton’s part. These decisions are made early in the spring before new schedules come out and schools must make travel and accommodations arrangements (going to or coming back from Elko).

Yet, the Board of Control could have done the right thing by offering Dayton a nonleague schedule with the Dust Devils facing a combination of 2A and 3A teams in most sports and some 1A in basketball, for example. To make it fair, though, Dayton would be playing to make itself more competitive, not in the mix for regional and state titles unless it decided to play a strictly 3A schedule in, for example, baseball.

We could see Dayton regrouping and becoming a force in the 3A in several years because of the area’s booming growth and population explosion. What also may be a strong program for an opponent now, such as Fallon’s girls’ basketball team, could change when the current group of athletes graduates.

By not doing the right thing, the Board of Control’s lack of corrective action and empathy means Dayton must continue to struggle in the Northern 3A and see its programs plummet.

Sometimes, adults don’t know how to play fair.


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