NIAA’s three-strike and you’re out policy won’t be a very nice game to play
June 15, 2002
On Wednesday, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association will vote on a three strike and you’re out policy. If it passes, it might not be a very nice game to play.
Example: Joey, a 14-year old on the Carson High freshman football team, walks to the local convenience store one afternoon. It’s August. It’s warm. He wants a Mountain Dew. Walking home, he passes by two friends sharing a Budweiser (let’s not discuss how they got the beer, please). His friends ask him to take a swig and he tells them ‘No, I’ve never had beer before and I don’t think I’ll like it.’
A few pleas by his buddies and Joey agrees. It’s not very good. Ron McNutt, Carson High’s athletic director, drives by and sees Joey spit out the beer.
Joey is suspended from football for six weeks. That can be reduced to two weeks if he enrolls in a drug and alcohol program. Great. A teenager who hasn’t even popped his first pimple in Alcoholics Anonymous.
A year later, Joey, a 15-year old on the junior varsity football team, is thirsty again. He wants a Dr. Pepper. It’s September. It’s still warm. Walking home, he passes by two friends smoking a cigarette. His friends want him to take a drag and he tells them ‘No, I’ve never smoked before and I don’t think I’ll like it.’
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A few pleas by his buddies and Joey takes a puff. It’s not very good. McNutt drives by and sees Joey coughing.
Joey is suspended from football for 90 days, almost the entire season. No Alcoholics Anonymous course can reduce the suspension this time, though.
Another year later, Joey, a 16-year old starting quarterback on the varsity football team is hungry. He wants a Snickers. Walking home, he passes two friends smoking a joint (again, let’s not discuss how they got the joint). His friends tell him to take a hit and he tells them ‘No, I’ve never smoked pot before and I don’t think I’ll like it.’ A few pleas by his….you know the story. Joey is hungry again. Joey’s got the munchies. He goes back to the store, buys five Snickers. McNutt is buying a magazine and smells a funny aroma on Joey’s T-shirt.
Joey can never play another sport in high school again. Unless, of course, Joey is the next Joey Montana and McNutt turned his head. Then Joey could be a raging alcoholic and wouldn’t have any strikes. But we all know McNutt wouldn’t turn his head. Unless, of course, one of his baseball players had chaw in his mouth. I mean, nobody wants to get spit on.
What will happen to your kid? Well, hope he/she is the next Joe/Josephine Montana. That’s a whole bunch of future pro bowlers in one Northern Nevada city.
“We’re hoping the school’s administrators will help us out,” said Donnie Nelson, the NIAA’s sports information director, about enforcing the new policy.
Nelson said individual school districts and coaches can have stricter policies. Just ask the Douglas High boys and girls soccer teams from the past two years. If the policy is passed, which Nelson feels it will, every school district will have to at least use it as the minimum standard. The strikes can occur on or off campus during any time of the year.
And if the policy is passed, it will be implemented on a trial basis for the following school year, most likely in Clark and Washoe Counties. After that, it would become statewide.
But if the policy is passed, it will only affect athletic teams. It won’t be used to regulate any other extra curricular activities, including non-sanctioned NIAA sports.
“Right on,”says one fictional Carson High Rifle Club member. “I can take shots on Friday and take tequila shots on Friday night.”
“That’s not fair,” says Joey.
Remember, Joey, don’t get caught with your hands in the cookie jar or, in this case, get caught with a case, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Unless, of course, you haven’t thrown a touchdown pass in three years. In an ideal world, it wouldn’t matter. On Wednesday, and every day thereafter, we’ll find out what kind of world we live in.
Jeremy Evans is a Nevada Appeal Sportswriter
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