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The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association’s Board of Control did not put forth a motion on a proposal Wednesday to allow its state football and basketball champions to play in national events after their state playoffs. The non-move — for now — would keep No. 1-ranked Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) from playing in a possible bowl game on ESPNU on Dec. 18.
“It died for a lack of a motion,” said NIAA Executive Director Bart Thompson. “There wasn’t a board member who was willing to make a motion to allow them to participate. Most of the discussion centered around they wanted the state championships to be the pinnacle of accomplishment.”
The proposal, presented by Paragon Marketing, would have paid the NIAA a fee if it allowed member schools to compete in a postseason bowl for football and the DICKS’ Sporting Goods High School National Tournament for basketball. Paragon also organizes the DICKS event.
“We respect the board’s decision on their ruling today and our first priority has and always will be to win a state championship,” Bishop Gorman football coach Kenny Sanchez said.
Last year, Paragon organized a three-game State Champions Bowl Series on a single day in Boca Raton, Fla., with football teams from three states.
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Bishop Gorman has won six consecutive state titles and it would have to forego a state tournament if it wanted to play in the bowl game. Findlay Prep (Henderson, Nev.) has played in the DICK’s Sporting Goods High School Nationals but because it is in a special membership category of the NIAA, it does not play for a state title.
If the current Super 25 rankings held, the two highest-ranked teams that would be eligible would be No. 5 Colquitt County (Moultrie, Ga.) and No. 7 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.). Colquitt still has to make it through the Georgia state playoffs. IMG’s regular season ended last weekend.
No. 2 Allen (Texas), No. 3 Trinity (Euless, Texas) and No. 4 De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) are governed by state associations that prohibit teams from playing postseason events beyond the state playoffs.
“It’s disappointing,” IMG coach Kevin Wright said via text about Nevada’s action. “I think one game a year against us or a Georgia school would have been good on a lot of levels.”