Epitome of Unfair: Nevada Attempts to Destroy Its Finest High School Athletics Program
Many times, the goings-on inside youth sports can be a view into a larger societal shift. By studying the sociology of sport, we sometimes get a glimpse into issues and cultural problems that might not always be so visible outside the lines or off the court.
In the case of Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman High School, a cultural malaise and lack of good judgment and objectivity is rearing its ugly head impacting high school kids.
It’s the story of sour grapes, envy, and stupidity. It’s the story of a state high school athletic body changing the rules because they cannot attain excellence on their own. The only way they see that they can compete or succeed is by tearing down the state’s crown prep sports jewel. It’s the story of small-minded bureaucrats who are teaching the very kids they aim to protect the entirely wrong lesson.
Bishop Gorman is Las Vegas’ only Catholic high school. Over 50 years old, the school currently has roughly 1,100 students and is situated in the Southwestern suburb of Summerlin in Las Vegas. The school has always been known for its academic prowess and, since it’s the only Catholic school in the area, most kids and families committed to a Catholic education attend despite its pricey tuition.
Over the years Gorman has also had a successful athletics program. Like most high schools, that success comes in sports with great periods of success followed by dry spells where state championships and all-star players are little more than a dream. In fact, my wife, an alumnus of Bishop Gorman, was the schools’ three-time Varsity softball MVP in the late 1980s and early 1990s when the team, and all other sports, were not very competitive.
In fact, until 2007, Gorman had not won a Nevada State football championship since 1983. The schools baseball team, which has won the last six Class 4A crowns, had never won a state title previous to that. The girl’s basketball team won its first state crown in 2006 and the boy’s team, which has won five titles in the past 10 years, had won 8 in the previous 50 years.
This recent success led to some jealousy in the Las Vegas Valley. Particularly amongst the public school members of the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association – the governing body over high school sports in the Silver State. Because Gorman has so thoroughly dominated the state in a few sports, these folks are crying foul. They believe there is an unfair advantage for Gorman since it’s a private school and even, without any proof whatsoever, accused the school of recruiting and illegal practices.Continued on the next page