Red Bank Catholic will oppose a proposal by the NJSIAA public/non public committee to join a non-public conference for the state.
Presently, RBC plays both public and non-public teams as part of the Shore Conference.
“As far as I’m concerned, we play in a great conference with schools we respect and who respect us, and we’ve had a great relationship,” said RBC’s Athletic Director Joe Montano. “Why should we change for an issue they are having in north Jersey?”
The NJSIAA’s Public / Non-Public Committee recently proposed creating public and non-public conferences for football only in an effort to create a more competitive balance between similar teams. The non-public football conference, which RBC would be placed in if it agreed to join, would include 37 non-public schools statewide. Many of the non-public schools RBC might play are in north Jersey, such as Don Bosco Prep, Paramus Catholic and Bergen Catholic.
“I’ll give you an example,” said Montano. “Last year we played Manalapan in front of 4,000 people. We had a wonderful, wonderful game. Next year, if the rule gets passed, neither one of our schools will have that opportunity. We’ll probably have to go somewhere far away and play before 400 people and there will be transportation costs. Quite honestly, I’m not interested in this.”
Montano sits on the NSJIAA committee mulling the proposal, and has participated in what he described as heated but respectful discussion on the issue with peers in the athletic community. The NJSIAA’s executive committee will soon decide whether to put it before a vote to the statewide membership, and from there the proposal will need to be approved by the state Commissioner of Education.
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