Cardinal Gibbons was informed late last week by the N.C. High School Athletic Association that two Wake County-based athletic conferences had voted to repeal bylaws banning games against non-traditional public schools.
The Cap-8 and Southwest Wake Athletic conferences had passed respective bylaws in the spring to prevent their 17 combined members from playing Gibbons, which is a Catholic high school, as well as other private schools and charter schools. The bylaw changes were reported by The News & Observer on June 15.
“We’ve always been real excited about the partnership with those schools so we’re looking forward to possibly playing them,” Gibbons principal Jason Curtis said.
The SWAC and Cap-8 schools had argued that Gibbons, which is one of three parochial schools in the NCHSAA, and others had built-in advantages in athletics because of its selection process.
“We just felt it wasn’t fair to our student body and our athletes to compete against those schools when we don’t have to,” Cary athletic director Mike Dunphy said at the time. “We’re not in favor of private schools or non-boarding parochial schools being part of what in essence is a public-school league.”
Gibbons principal Jason Curtis said he is relieved that the ban is over so the school can schedule teams as normal. Gibbons played a number of Wake County public schools before the bylaw change.
“We want to communicate that we are always available to answer questions,” Curtis said. The conferences did not contact Gibbons before or after the bylaws were passed.
“We see it as a positive first step in hopefully renewing relationships with local schools in our community,” Todd Schuler said. “It’s a positive time for us.”