NIAA releases survey results
Realignment is an ongoing topic as the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association released its survey results last week from member schools.
The questionnaire concerns the next realignment cycle, which starts in fall 2016 and runs through spring 2020.
As for the recommendations, which were passed by the NIAA’s Board of Control in June, in the Division I-A, the Northern League will remain with its current nine schools, while the Southern League will cap its membership at 16 institutions.
Faith Lutheran, which has dominated the field the past several years, will move to the Division I, while The Meadows, which is currently slotted to compete the DI-A, is expected to move back down to its longtime home in the Division III.
The recommended new-look Southern League will comprise Boulder City, Chaparral, Cheyenne, Clark, Del Sol, Desert Pines, Moapa Valley, Mojave, Pahrump Valley, Sierra Vista, SECTA, Spring Valley, Sunrise Mountain, Virgin Valley and Western.
Four current DI schools — Eldorado, Durango, Bonanza and Desert Oasis — sit below the rubric threshold and may be in play to join the DI-A.
As for Northern DI-A schools, the survey results place Wooster in the DI, even in football, where the Colts haven’t had a winning season — either in the DI-A or DI — in years.
One school, which did not identify itself in the comments, said Hug and Wooster should be in the DI-A.
The survey results from the DI-A representatives, which are anonymous, show 15 of 25 responding schools in the closest race agree to a total of 16 schools in the Southern League.
The largest disparity (22-3) came in favor of continued protections for schools under a student enrollment of 1,201 students. Nineteen out of 24 respondents agreed to place The Meadows in the DIII, while 18 out of 25 suggested a four-year realignment cycle.
NIAA Assistant Director Jay Beesemyer said in a previous interview it is expected for the board to vote to return The Meadows to the DIII.
Critiques of the survey widely vary, as expected. Some would like to see 18 schools in the Southern DI-A, while others feel 16 teams is too many.
In addition, the rural-urban debate was a topic as one school said it felt the increased opportunities at large schools in Las Vegas are being done at the expense of rural schools. The respondent said those larger schools will want more teams qualified for state tournaments, which will limit the number from the rural areas.
As for the DI realignment, 16 of 25 respondents agreed to keep Faith Lutheran in the DI, while 16 of 23 like the 21 total schools in the Southern DI.
In several of their responses, Galena High School was vocal about not supporting the rubric system, which calculates a school’s on-field performance to determine realignment.
In addition, Galena said it disagrees with the inclusion of Bishop Gorman and Faith Lutheran as it does not promote competitive balance, nor do schools with enrollments over 2,500 in the DI-A.