NIAA: No to national team events

A proposal that would have allowed Nevada high school athletic teams to participate in national postseason events didn’t receive approval last Wednesday during a special meeting of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s Board of Control.

Paragon Marketing Group’s proposal to enter into an agreement that would allow Nevada teams to play beyond their state championship games simply died due to lack of a motion from the board of control after nearly one hour of discussion conducted by conference call.

Paragon Marketing Group operates the nationally-televised Dick’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals basketball tournament — an eight-team boys tournament and four-team girls tournament — as well as the nationally-televised State Championship Bowl Series (six teams). The group offered the NIAA $12,500 just to have access to member schools’ football and boys/girls basketball teams.

NIAA policy currently bans participation in postseason national-level events, however, board members could have voted to allow teams to participate in the Paragon events.

The board’s philosophy is it wants a state championship game/meet to be the “pinnacle” of the season, NIAA Assistant Director Donnie Nelson noted.

The immediate interest of national level participation, of course, is Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas. The Gaels’ football team is currently undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the nation by various sources and bidding to win its seventh straight state title this fall. The Bishop Gorman boys basketball team will attempt to win its fifth straight state title this winter. Only state champions are selected to compete in either of Paragon national events.

Las Vegas-based Findlay Prep was a semifinalist at the 2015 Dick’s High School National event on April 2-4 in Middle Village, N.Y. Findlay Prep, however, carries a special membership with the NIAA that doesn’t allow it to recruit Nevada residents or to compete for state championships.


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