LAS VEGAS, NV (KTNV) -- A high schooler said all he wants to do is run track but the Clark County School District and the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association won't let him.
Senoble Smith, a junior and a star of the Liberty High School track and field team, will not be participating in their Tuesday meet. In fact, he has not run in a single meet all spring.
"I go to practice every day, I can't stop going to practice because I don't want to be out of shape or anything," said Smith. "I got to stay on the top of my game."
Despite practicing and doing his school work, he is still not allowed to run. He just transferred into CCSD this year.
He moved from Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles after two of his friends died. He says one overdosed on the cough syrup drink "lean," and the other was shot in gang violence.
"It was my mom and my uncle's idea (to move)," said Smith. "They wanted me to come out here to do better, so she sent me out here and I have been doing better."
He has seen improvements in his life that are hard for many children to even imagine.
"I haven't had to watch my back all the time, haven't heard any gunshots lately or anything," he said.
The only area that has not improved is track. The aspiring college runner has been banned from competition.
Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association Executive Director Bart Thompson said CCSD ruled that he didn't meet the residency requirements.
Thompson said Smith has to live in school boundaries, and live with a legal guardian appointment by a judge (as opposed to a temporary guardian). Smith lives with his aunt and uncle, who are temporary guardians.
Why the strict rules? Thompson said some schools have abused the rules to create "super teams."
Smith insists he came here to get away from the violent environment, and not because he was recruited to run track.
CCSD sent us the following statement about the issue:
"CCSD follows NIAA guidelines when making determinations about eligibility.
"NIAA Regulation NAC782 states that: " 5. The Association will not recognize a temporary guardianship that is granted without the approval of a court pursuant to NRS 159.205 or 159.215.
6. A pupil is not eligible to participate in a sanctioned sport at a school that is located within the zone of attendance of the legal guardian of the pupil unless the legal guardian has complied with subsection 3 of NAC 386.785."