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Truckee football avoids sanctions by not playing Saturday

Published: Apr. 17, 2021 at 8:02 PM PDT
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TRUCKEE, Calif. (KOLO) - “We are affiliated with the NIAA, but first and foremost we need to follow all California state laws and guidelines,” said Truckee Head Football Coach, Josh Ivens.

Caught in a gray area this season.

In late February Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak loosened restrictions on full-contact sports including football. The NIAA - Nevada’s high school sports governing body - followed with a six-week fall sports plan that ended on April 10.

For the Truckee football team, their administration needed to make a decision.

“To us, though we are under the umbrella of the NIAA, it felt like we could go play in California this year and follow the California state guidelines,” Ivens said.

Before Nevada was cleared to play football the Truckee Tahoe Unified School District found a California guideline stating programs could not compete out of state. Instead of playing Nevada schools - something Truckee has done since the 1980′s - they would have to find competition in California.

The school sent a waiver to the California Department of Health to get permission to play in Nevada but still have not heard back. Had Truckee not created a California schedule - and that waiver been rejected - the Wolverines would not have had a season at all.

Ivens in turn created a California schedule which initially included a game Saturday against Nevada Union out of Grass Valley. That date falls one week outside of the NIAA’s last permissive date of competition.

“That (scheduling of the game) was not maliciously done or trying to get one-up on any school or program in Nevada,” Ivens said. “It was simply how are we going to get our kids as many games as we could and back then it was looking pretty slim to none that we would get any.”

Ivens and his players found out on March 30 Saturday’s game would not be played.

If Truckee - or any other program for that matter - decided to play outside of the fall sports window the NIAA could place sanctions on that program.

In an email response to KOLO 8 News Now from NIAA assistant director, Donnie Nelson, “The Board set that end day way back in July. The superintendents and Board discussed each season’s end date at various times since July but always held to an end date for each season...penalties could range from fines to loss of games to revoked membership.”

Truckee hopes to be a part of the NIAA this coming fall.

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