Truckee, North Tahoe still in NIAA after vote fails
It looks like Truckee and North Tahoe high schools will remain in the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, after all, and there are steps being taken to prevent further attempts at removal in the future.
Member schools in Div. 1 of the 3A league of the NIAA voted 4-2 to keep California schools in the Nevada-based league at last week’s winter basketball meetings in Reno.
Truckee, North Tahoe, Battle Mountain and Rite of Passage all voted to leave the border schools alone, while Fernley and Spring Creek voted for removal.
The 4-2 vote rendered any further action at the state level dead.
Carrying on the fight
The fight to remove the schools was headed up by Moapa Valley football coach Jeff Knutson.
After the vote, North Tahoe athletic director Ed Turner said the feeling of the administrators present at the meeting was that there was no sense in taking the matter any further.
“At the end of the meeting Jeff Knutson stood up and made a presentation. He said that he no longer wanted to boot the California schools out. He said they could stay in the NIAA so long as they didn’t compete for Nevada state titles.
“Knutson also said that he would still take the issue to the Nevada State Legislature at some stage in the future.”
Turner said he felt the issue was essentially over. Given that the NIAA is due to complete its sports league realignment by March 22, Turner believed that North Tahoe and Truckee’s positions in the NIAA would be secure for the next four years.
Truckee high principal and basketball coach Dennis LeBlanc said, “It’s over as far as the NIAA is concerned. I hope the Nevada State Legislature has more important things to worry about than California schools winning Nevada state championships.”
LeBlanc said Truckee would take the high road and not hold anything against the schools which voted for removal.
“It’s not going to be an issue on our part,” he said. “A majority of the coaches at Spring Creek like us and respect us because we don’t whine about playing them. Their principal voted on his principles.”
When asked if this issue could arise again in the near future, LeBlanc said there is a proposition before the NIAA which would remedy that.
According to the proposed rule, a school could only be removed from the league for violations of NIAA bylaws, excluding further attempts at removal for removal’s sake.
“Hopefully, that has a chance to get through and that stops it,” LeBlanc said.
At the meetings, NIAA Executive Director Jerry Hughes told reporters, “It’s time to turn the page. You need a two-third vote from all the schools in the division, a two-third vote from all the schools in the league to start the process. And that hasn’t happened.”
Regarding Knutson’s attempts to continue the battle, Hughes said, “as far as we’re concerned, we’re done with it.”
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