Athletes, parents, coaches come together to protest not having fall sports

Published: Sep. 19, 2020 at 8:15 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Let us play.

That message was seen all over Carson City Saturday afternoon as youth athletes, parents, and coaches lobbied to have a 2020 fall sports season.

“A lot of other states are already playing and involved in their own fall sports," said Damonte Ranch football player Weston Smith. "It’s not entirely fair for us to not be involved.”

17 of the countries' 50 states are not playing sports right now, according to MaxPreps. Nevada is in that group that is not active.

Spanish Springs football player Parker Luthy showed up hoping Governor Steve Sisolak would hear his message.

“For most of us this is how we’re going to get to college," Luthy said. "(Sports) helps us through life. We need sports. (Governor Sisolak) has taken (the opportunity to play) away from us and we’re trying to get that back.”

The Nevada Interscholastic Activites Association - the governing body for Nevada high school athletics - has its hands tied. The organization defaults to school superintendents - or higher powers - on issues like playing.

Luthy’s mom, Jennifer, expects major financial burdens to be placed on families without sports this fall. It could keep her son and other kids from getting college scholarships.

“(Parker) had some opportunities ahead of him," she said. "This has been rather devastating. It’s put him back in a corner to reevaluate and say ‘if this doesn’t happen, what are my other options?’”

Jennifer said she has received word from Next College Student Athlete - an organization that connects recruits with coaches - that Division-I programs will stop looking for players by January.

Bishop Manogue’s Jordyn Jensen already knows where she is headed next year. The Hawai’i-Pacific commit thinks picking and choosing where people can have contact is not fair.

“It’s completely hypocritical," she said. "How should people be allowed to go out, eat, and go to hair salons, but we’re not allowed to do the things that we love?”

Her golf teammate, Morgan Tisdale, is missing new memories.

“It’s our senior year. This is supposed to be the year we go out and have fun," she said. "We’re not going to be able to (compete) anymore. We’re not going to have State, or Regionals, or any of the playoffs so (allowing us to play) is only fair.”

It is unclear when the NIAA will meet again to discuss the future.

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