LATHAM, N.Y. (WKTV) - The New York State Public High School Athletic Association has reportedly upheld the Tri Valley League's appeal to block Proctor and Rome Free Academy from joining the league, which the schools want to do to save costs on traveling to play Syracuse-area opponents.
The proposal to join the TVL, which did not include certain sports including basketball and baseball (other sports like football and ice hockey are organized by size and are not the schools' decisions), was originally rejected by the league, but an appeal by Proctor and RFA to all of the member schools in Section III resulted in a majority vote in favor of the merger. The TVL then appealed to the NYSPHSAA, and although no "official" decision has been handed down according to Proctor athletic director Marty Nemechek, the word is the NYSPHSAA has sided with the TVL. A formal meeting to discuss the decision is scheduled for Thursday.
Section III executive director John Rathbun says the issue that came up in the state's ruling is the way the voting process for that appeal was handled. Proctor, RFA and Syracuse City schools combined to write a letter to the other member schools explaining their reasons for wanting the move and used the Section III office to distribute them, which Rathbun says is a common occurrence for mass communications. But the TVL argued that might have swayed the other schools' opinion on the matter because it gave the impression that the Section III office was endorsing the appeal--something Rathbun denies--and the state apparently agreed.
The issue at hand for the TVL is the size of the schools and the competitve advantage or disadvantage that would be created if Proctor and RFA joined the league. Those schools are in the largest athletic class, AA, and the TVL is made up of smaller A and B schools. But with Proctor spending an average of $500-750 per team per away game to play like-size competition in the Syracuse area according to Nemechek, the schools want to have most of their teams playing opponents that are closer.
Nemechek says Proctor and RFA plan to try again to join the TVL in time for the 2010-11 sports season.