Bishop Gorman (Nevada) High currently houses one of the top athletic programs in the country, having won a combined 13 state titles in football, baseball and basketball in the last six years. There's no question the private school is the biggest powerhouse in the state, but if Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association decides to alter the current playoff format, that could change.
At the moment, Bishop Gorman plays against public and private teams in the playoffs, but as the school's sports program has grown in stature over the last five years, public schools throughout the state have started to cry foul.
As the Las Vegas Sun reported, the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association is currently looking into splitting the playoffs into public and private school brackets, thereby keeping Bishop Gorman from getting a chance to play for a state title each year.
"We really feel like this is a bit premature," Grant Rice, Gorman's assistant athletic director and basketball coach, told the Las Vegas Sun "With the work the School District and state has put in with realignment the last year or so — and a lot of people worked hard on that — and with open enrollment in its second year, the state of Nevada needed to wait a few years to see if it worked."
The NIAA already had a realignment plan in place, but if it's scrapped for a public and private school playoffs, that would mean Bishop Gorman would be forced to play for a private-league title against inferior competition.
Bishop Gorman officials apparently aren't shocked by the move. The school's ability to attract players from all over has always rubbed other schools the wrong way, but as the scores got more lopsided -- Gorman's football team beat a public school for the state title earlier this year 72-28 -- and public schools started celebrating mythical "public league state titles" before playing the Nevada powerhouse in the state title game, NIAA figured it was time to change things up.
While it's understandable that public schools around the state want to have a shot at winning state championship, moving Bishop Gorman and other private institutions to a separate playoff system just doesn't make sense.
With only a handful of teams in the private ranks, Bishop Gorman would essentially have nothing to play for each year. Some states already have a public and private playoffs in place, but Nevada chose to allow schools from all over to compete for state titles each season. They should keep the system the way it is, or come up with a better plan that allows Bishop Gorman to have something to play for each year.
- Bishop Gorman