NIAA
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites - Franchise Sports Media

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For seniors playing winter sports in the state of Nevada dreams of playing ended on Friday, January 22nd when the NIAA decided to cancel the season due to COVID-19 cases continue to spike in Nevada.

 

This is disappointing news for those who needed this season to help their recruiting process and possibly earn a scholarship. The NIAA had dragged out this process, even when it was evident that it would be extremely challenging to justify playing a season when students aren’t allowed back in class. For the athletes and the coaches, years of hard work are now thrown down the drain, and they are left to find other, non-traditional ways to get college’s attention.

Here is the timeline for the past week:

 

Fri. Jan. 22NIAA decides to cancel the upcoming spring sports season, effectively ending all sports for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Thurs. Jan. 28.– Parents and student-athletes protest outside CCSD headquarters in anger at the cancellation of all sports.

 

NIAA
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites – Franchise Sports Media

Last March, the Governor of Nevada, the CCSD superintendent, and the NIAA board decided, in response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, to suspend all athletic activity for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year. Later into the summer, the NIAA announced that the fall sports season would be suspended and moved to the spring of 2021; the hope was to give student-athletes some kind of a season, especially seniors who are on their last run and looking to compete and possibly earn an athletic scholarship.

However, as the positive cases began to rise and Governor Steve Sisolak began to reconsider a second statewide shut down to slow down the recent spike in cases, athletic practices that were once again allowed to start back up again had to be suspended. 

Pending a decision from the NIAA, the spring sports season was supposed to begin on January 15th for all winter sports such as wrestling and basketball. Instead, student-athletes, parents, and coaches were left in the dark until a coach meeting Thursday, January 22nd, when they confirmed the fears of all head coaches who attended that CCSD and the NIAA were officially canceling the spring season. 

 

A week later, outraged parents and student-athletes alike openly protested the decision outside of the CCSD headquarters.

 

As reported by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, many passing vehicles honked horns in solidarity with the crowd, listening to chants of “Let them play!” ringing out over the busy street. A small portion of many disagrees with the school district’s decision to cancel the sports season. Many coaches have spoken up about the issues, saying that it is a tragic fate for all the seniors who didn’t get a chance to finish their high school career.

Although several other coaches, deciding to remain anonymous to avoid being “that guy” who, under such unique conditions, wanted to condemn the school district on its otherwise logical choice. Showed disdain for the situation but an understanding of why the decision to cancel the season was made.

 

So far, the Governor’s push to get kids back in school has failed because Covid-19 numbers continue to increase.

 

NIAA
Photo Credit: Terrance Quaites Franchise Sports Media

The possibility of the infection rate going up because kids are back in school is too much of a risk for the Governor and the superintendent to take. With conditions such that kids can’t go to school safely, then the consensus is that they should not play sports. A sound argument, but as Legacy High School head football coach, John Isola pointed out to the Review-Journal,….40 other states figured (out how to play football), why couldn’t we have figured it out?”

The largest and most potent argument against the CCSD decision is that over 32 states started a fall football season and managed to complete it. At the same time, states like California, Oregon, Washington, Illinois, New York, Nevada, and ten other states decided to postpone to Spring 2021. Some states have continued to try and work out a plan to give their high school sports teams a season. However, states like California, Hawaii, and Nevada, who all held out hope to work out a plan for high school sports to continue, had to play it safe and cancel.

Some private schools are still scheduling and playing their season out with wealthy alumni and boosters shoveling out money to rent out fields and equipment for players to compete and have a season. The famous Trinity league is one example, with schools banding together to start games on March 5th. Some players in California are joining a controversial “Club Football League.”

In time, and with the help of the now publicly available Covid-19 vaccine, the 2021 sports season will commence on time. Giving a chance to the class of 2022 to do something their predecessors didn’t get a chance to do–play.

 

Franchise Sports Media and The Institute of Human Perfomance are teamming up to put on a Las Vegas High School Football Showcase. Just tweet Franchise Sports Media the players HUDL or Max Preps tape. The players who send in their film will be evaluated, with the Top 50 players invited back to a 2 day showcase at the Institute of Human Performace.  

 

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-JaRon Turner – Franchise Sports Media

 

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