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July 6, 2015

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high school football:

Gorman’s Nate Starks dismissed from school, won’t play for Gaels in 2013


Leila Navidi

Nathan Starks of Bishop Gorman runs for a touchdown during the Sunset Regional semifinals against Palo Verde at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas on Friday, November 9, 2012.

Updated Monday, April 29, 2013 | 7:51 p.m.

Gorman RB Nathan Starks

Nathan Starks of Bishop Gorman runs with the ball during their game at Centennial High School in Las Vegas on Friday, October 19, 2012. Launch slideshow »

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Bishop Gorman rising senior running back Nate Starks was dismissed from school for violating school rules and won’t return, school officials said Monday.

The 6-foot, 200-pound Starks is Nevada’s top recruiting prospect for the class of 2014. He is a four-star recruit with scholarship offers from the likes of Notre Dame, Alabama, Oklahoma and USC.

Starks, who considers the nation’s No. 26 overall prospect, rushed for 1,821 yards and 27 touchdowns last year in helping Gorman win its fourth straight state championship.

On Twitter Tuesday morning, Starks wrote: "I screwed up. But that doesn't change the player I am or the person I've put myself out there to be. I just need another chance to prove it."

It’s unclear where he’ll play in 2013, but it won't be in Nevada, said Donnie Nelson, the assistant director for the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association. NIAA transfer rules dictate transfers from a private school such as Gorman sit out one year, regardless if the athlete is transferring to a public school or another private school.

Nelson said no exceptions are made for a hardship of being dismissed from school.

“The basic rule is you can’t leave one school and go to another to escape academic or citizenship issues,” Nelson said. “Anytime you transfer schools, you are presumed ineligible for 180 school days or one year.”

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or Follow Ray on Twitter at

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  1. No Starks, no Nacua there goes next season. I guess kudos to admin for applying the rules even if it hurts the program but damn this sucks.

  2. That's right, BG did the right thing, no matter how much it hurt the football many public schools would do this?! LMAO, that's what I thought.

  3. @711....Public schools do not have the luxury of cherry picking their clients and cannot toss a kid out without extensive due process. Without knowing what infractions this young man committed, it is likely that he could/will attend a CCSD school.

  4. When a student is expelled from a CCSD public school, they attend behavior school for a brief period of time, and then are allowed to go to another public school. Rarely are they ever truly kicked out of public education and forced to stay at behavior schools for extensive periods of time.

    The cherry picking comments are absolutely true. If you compare public school scores to private/charter school scores, the difference is astounding. Private/charter schools kick out low performers before testing. Where do those low performers go when their test scores are recorded? Public schools. It's weird how their scores are so much higher...

  5. Guru- he's supposedly moving to Utah to finish his senior year then join his bro at BYU. I think the whole fam is moving up to Utah.


    Like I have often said before, I love to be proven wrong when I pick against my alma mater. When I picked them to lose some out of state games and they won that was awesome. I don't mind being proven wrong. Gorman will still do quite well but we've got a hell of a national schedule to play. Cunningham's ball control (look at his td/int ratio) doesn't scream confidence, although he is incredibly talented on his feet losing the mostly error free football played by Solomon will be hard to replace.

    Was really looking forward to the two headed monster run game of a QB like Cunningham and Starks but even the most optimistic fan can't claim it's not going to hurt us against national competition. We have plenty of talent on the sidelines and many hard working kids that will certainly keep up at the top locally, but it takes an incredible amount of talent to stay in the top fraction of programs nationally. Losing one of your best defensive players and one of the best running backs in the country isn't necessarily a death blow but it's certainly going to hurt.

    I commend the admin for doing the right thing, so long as they would do the same for anyone else, including a student whose parent had a lot invested in the school. I hope for Stark's future he learns from his mistake, gets his stuff together, makes smarter decisions and takes full advantage of the free education his physical talents will get him.

    As for the cherry picking thing, it comes with the territory. Shell money out and your kid can go to a kid that can lawfully have higher standards. It's not a knock on publics but that's just how the cookie crumbles. Of course privates perform better when they can pick how low their bottom performers are going to be. Nothing bad about that. Privates are like the SPCA who can pick what animals they accept therefore they do not have to euthanize anything, they are no-kill by virtue of getting to pick which animals they take in and public schools are like a public shelter that has to take anything and everything that comes through the door. That said the SPCA does great things and so do the public shelters, it's not a knock on either of them it's just how things work.

    Biggest reason I send my daughter to private school (albeit pre-k) is the distractions are fewer. If everyone in her class is at least on close to the same level it's better for her. If there's no gangs, few fights, fewers kids with issues it's less distraction. To me it's worth the money.

    I can empathize with Starks. I was suspended while at Gorman a couple times and had two expulsion hearings. Obviously I was lucky enough that my mistakes weren't on Stark's level and was able to stay and learned my lesson without having to be kicked out. I am better for those lessons.

  6. Also on the cherry picking thing, even if you take CCSD- one of the worst performing school districts in the entire country and drop the bottom 50% they'd still be below the level of most privates or well performing publics are the country. Just look at the 37% of sophomore's that can pass the proficiency exam for example. I've always believed that the biggest problem with our school district is not the schools but the parents. Parent involvement in my opinion is the #1, #2 and #3 key influence with how well a child performs in school. Too many parents in this town don't raise their children or take an active role in their education. Instead they expect a school district to do everything for them. Our district could be a lot better but nothing will change until parents become more responsible. That said, for the most part parent participation is much higher in privates/charters than typical publics which is another reason I will always do what I can to keep my child in a private or at very least charter school.

  7. likewise... the only thing i'm actually hoping might happen is that if we lose a couple OOS games then the fair weather fans that only show up for ESPN and can't be bothered to stand up and cheer on third downs might stay home. See you in the stands.

  8. I hope he learns from his mistakes and turn things around. Tuasdad, what you said about parents is spot on. Parents in the Las Vegas valley do not support or participate the way they should. Thats another problem with football and proficiency exams. My kids think I am old fashioned and strict because I don't allow saggin pants. They think I am the only parent who has a problem with it. I know i'm not , but I'm one of the few who don't mind if my kids don't think I'm cool.I dont have a problem if they are mad at me for staying on their butts about grades and attitude. I hope for the best with Starks, as far as Gorman football, it will hurt when playing the out of state schools, dont know about in state, they are still big and strong up front.

  9. LMFAO @ all of the haters....I love reading those comments! No whining here...the kid screwed up, BG took care of business.

    Just stating the obvious....that Public School cry babies would not give credit to BG for doing the right thing. Just like the commentary on this article...changing the subject to "cherry picking"...what? Too funny. Keep it coming.

    Totally disagree with the assessment that BG will be softer this year. They'll be fine. I believe in Coach Sanchez and the team, Go Gaels!

  10. Will they be fine? Sure. They'll win state and dominate locally and have some success with oos games. But c'mon you can't possibly think that losing a 4 star running back and a top defensive player will have no affect whatsoever. That's beyond wishful thinking. Like I said earlier I'd love to be wrong and watch gorman go unbeaten and win a national title but I'm too realistic to put money on it. They'll do fine and they may even do great but if they do most reasonable folks would be like "damn imagine if they still had...."

  11. How unfortunate for Nathan. He's a very prominent Nevada player that now has to suffer the consequences. Sadly, the doings of a high school student are being played out over the media (Sun and Tweeter). I guess the Sun can't spend all their time covering the good things at Gorman. Eventually something bad is going to turn up. And yes, these things happen at public schools as well. Public schools just don't have their own Sun reporter. Have to take the good with the bad I suppose. Anyway, I wish Nathan the best. Learn from your mistakes and move on.

  12. Eddie,

    A national power program with one of the best players in the country kicks him out before his senior season I think it'd make no sense if they didn't report it. He's one of the most highly recruited football players in NV history, not mentioning it would make less sense. Sucks for the young man but you can't enjoy all the media attention for recruiting and be upset when they report such a significant event. Personally I think the sun's coverage shed a good light on Gorman. It think most gorman haters are probably pleasantly surprised with how they handled it. Doesn't make him a bad person but certainly didn't make things easier for himself. I think there are very few of us who could say we didn't do anything in our teens that could have resulted in similar outcome. He made a mistake is all and hopefully learns from it and doesn't come down this path again.

    Spxmn, that's stupid. You should send that info to the NIAA not the paper. That is like idiots that call the news first rather than the cops after an incident.

  13. Paul,

    I see your point about reporting the event, but as you can see by other posts - the rumors have started. But,as you said, maybe the coverage will actually lessen the hate for Gorman, because now they can see things are not swept under the rug.

  14. TomD,

    Maybe your class was the exception. My class had several expelled for things as simple as getting in a fight or drinking before school. I think social media isn't helping these kids keep their sins to themselves. Getting expelled from Gorman was a lot easier than from a public. Yourr right it is a big deal I'm simply saying there's few of us that didn't make mistakes as teens

  15. Guru,

    It's a much different Gorman now than when I went, but back then the diocese really had nothing to do with the day to day goings on at the school, and certainly not the disciplinary stuff. At the time our president was a viatorian priest but really the disciplinary stuff was left to the administrators, deans etc.. which were all lay folks. The president, who like I said happened to be a priest, sat on the expulsion hearing board but it wasnt like the diocese had the last word or was really involved in the day to day stuff.

    I wouldn't count on the NIAA making any exceptions. He should already be looking at where he might be able to play because it won't be Nevada.


    I don't know him or the fam but i'd have to imagine it'd be more realistic to see if there's a family member or friend in another state willing to house him for the fall rather than uproot the fam. Maybe a SoCal powerhouse will extend an offer I wouldn't doubt that hasn't already happened. But my mom would be whooping my ... if it were me in his shoes.

  16. jd3000, a kid breaking school rules has nothing to do with the NIAA. The higher ups at the NIAA catching wind of what Starks did is nothing they have any say on. Violations of NIAA policies yes, but what he did? No. Your bitter is showing. As the kids say "haters gonna hate"

  17. Comment removed by moderator. Inappropriate

  18. Aloha tuasdad (Paul Seven),

    You're posting all the comments (LOL) & nothing for the common man!!!

    Regardless, comments are entertaining & educational most of the times, not all.

    Anyways & before anything else, please give Ohana our Love & Blessings!!!

  19. likewise Gilbert... almost time to talk football again. Hopefully better conversations than the above lol

  20. I guess some high up Gorman graduate didn't like my post containing the truth about his dismissal. I guess that's a lost art in journalism now-a-days.

  21. Someone mentioned in the comments that "I guess the Sun can't spend all their time covering the good things at Gorman"...If you ask me all I ever see in the Sun is Oh Gorman this and Oh Gorman that. If you are a player ranked as the no.5 athlete and no.26 player in the nation, and having scouts left and right checking you out.. and then you SCREW UP.. yes, that is newsworthy. Sorry, makes the all mighty powers that be actually be human and show these kids that it will not be tolerated. Accept it. It is newsworthy. Choices have consequences.