There’s a plan in place, complete with dates and salary range and other important details.
More than five weeks after Eddie Bonine announced he was leaving as executive director of the the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, the NIAA arranged finding his replacement.
The NIAA Board of Control met at the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino on Wednesday, the first of its regularly quarterly two-day meeting. One of the main topics discussed was replacing Bonine, who took the same job in Louisiana. His last day in Nevada is March 6.
If the NIAA’s plan goes smoothly, it will announce his replacement on Feb. 27, at the state basketball tournament in Las Vegas.
The NIAA will accept applications from Jan. 20-Feb. 6. The finalists will be contacted by Feb. 10-11 and announced Feb. 12. The board will meet again on Feb. 17 to interview the final candidates. The opening will be publicized in Nevada and nationally and the board expects an equal number of candidates from inside and outside the state.
All applicants will be kept confidential until the finalists are announced.
The board discussed salary ranges from $125,000-145,000 for the position. Bonine makes just over $150,000.
One item added and approved Wednesday was that, in lieu of a master’s degree in education or a related field, a candidate have at least 15 years experience working with a state high school athletic association. NIAA assistant director Donnie Nelson, who does not have a master’s degree, but has worked for the NIAA for 17 years, brought that item to the board’s attention.
An interim director is a strong possibility to finish out the school year, since a new executive director would likely have to give 90 days’ notice at his or her current job.
NIAA legal counsel Paul Anderson, who is putting all the pieces together for the search, said he has already heard from about 15 or 20 possible candidates, from all across Nevada and outside the state.
The board discussed paying for the search and tossed out a budget of $25,000, but Anderson said he will keep it well below that figure.
Bonine said the process to replace him can go quickly. When he was hired for the Louisiana position, the announcement was posted the week of Thanksgiving, he was interviewed Dec. 1 and hired Dec. 6.
Bonine, the third executive director in NIAA history, said when he was hired, the opening was announced in mid-October 2006 and he had the job by Dec. 1 that year.
Jay Beesemyer, also an NIAA assistant director, said getting a new executive director is critical, to retain and bring in sponsors.
The board also discussed having a satellite office in Las Vegas, but the logistics and expenses would likely be too much for now. The NIAA is currently based in Reno.
•One item that drew considerable discussion was Quest Prep, a charter school in Las Vegas. Quest currently plays in Division IV, the smallest school level, but is trying to move to Division III, as its enrollment is more than the 170 students required at that level.
David Vick, Division IV liaison, Bill Darrow, Division III liaison and Paul Beckwith, chief academic officer with the Storey County School District, all spoke against the move and asked that Quest be suspended, again, for playing basketball games against junior colleges and for basically being a “basketball factory.”
Bonine had suspended Quest last year for not providing rosters. He said he will consider again suspending Quest.
• A motion passed to increase the legal counsel retainer fee by $1,000 per month, retroactive to July 2014.
• Bonine suggested the NIAA hire someone to manage social media for the office. He said Louisiana has two such people. It was suggested the NIAA ask university students about doing it as an internship.
• Vince Kristosik, officials liaison, asked the board about adding a sixth official for football games next season. He said it is a matter of safety. It will be discussed further.
• Bonine said concussions will be a major issue this year. He said a national lawsuit is pending against every state’s high school athletic association.
He said Nevada should be safe in a lawsuit as it has a good plan in place already about concussions and safety.
• Sportsmanship was discussed Wednesday in light of Bishop Gorman’s refusal to shake hands with Reed players before the state championship football game on Dec. 6. The incident was televised and the NIAA received numerous calls about it. The board discussed penalizing teams yardage immediately for not shaking hands and went all the way up to disqualifying players.
“That’s an extreme measure, but we’re being too nice about things,” Bonine said of the possible punishment.
Bishop Gorman athletic director Sally Nieman apologized to the board for the incident.
“Our kids made a bad decision. It was spur-of-the-moment. We didn’t know about any of it until (the following) Monday. I apologize. They embarrassed themselves. They embarrassed the families. They embarrassed the school and their team.”