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Fight over high school sports divisions may affect Sunnyside

The Big 9 Conference of high school sports is having a fight that could ultimately result in it breaking up, according to Sunnyside High School Athletic Director Bill Daley speaking at the Sunnyside School Board meeting last night (Tuesday).

Daley energetically explained the current problem in the Big 9 Conference as principals and superintendents ignoring the by-laws of the conference to suit their own point of view.

The dispute arose out of the currently ongoing re-classification of high schools in the conference. The schools in the southern reaches of the Big 9 Conference want to re-align the conference to save transportation costs. Daley explained that the by-laws of the conference forbid a north/south division.

Despite the by-laws, a vote of principals from the schools of the conference was taken, and resulted in an 8-7 vote in favor of the geographical divisions. Daley explained that the by-laws also require a super majority of 12 of the 15 schools for a division change. He then said that the eight principals who voted for the division consider their vote valid, while the other seven do not.

As a result of this argument, Daley and other athletic directors are appealing to the Yakima Valley Interscholastic Activities Association to mediate the case.

Daley laid out the possible outcomes, including the possibility that the Tri-City and Walla Walla schools may break off and create their own conference.

In any case, Sunnyside will still be competing against the schools in the Tri-Cities, as no other schools nearby are at the same classification level.

Daley came to the school board meeting last night to appeal to Superintendent Dr. Richard Cole to speak with the superintendents of the dissenting districts and try to come up with a reasonable solution before submitting the appeal to the Yakima Valley Interscholastic Activities Association for help.

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