LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The death of a UNLV student after a fraternity boxing match prompts action at the state level. Minutes ago, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced on Twitter he signed an emergency regulation.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission unanimously passed the regulation — called Nathan’s Law — earlier today. This would give the commission oversight of events like the fraternity boxing match.
The commission’s chairman, Stephen Cloobeck, acknowledged the death of Nathan Valencia on Monday.
“We love you, Nathan!”
And video of the Honor Walk at Sunrise Hospital before the 20-year-old UNLV student’s organs would be donated.
“This is a tragic video, but beautiful. And it rocked me to my core,” Cloobeck said.
Valencia died from head injuries after participating in this fraternity boxing match on Nov. 19.
In video of the fraternity event, Valencia is wearing red headgear. He collapsed after finishing his fight.
Valencia’s parents tell the I-Team they believe this was not a professional referee.
Chairman Cloobeck acknowledged there was no professional medical help on standby, and witnesses including participant Daniel Corona describe a chaotic event.
“I felt like I was fighting in a backyard, backyard fight,” Corona said.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission had no oversight of events like the fraternity boxing match. The I-Team found a change dating back to 1985, exempting school, college and university events.
While UNLV, the headquarters for Kappa Sigma fraternity and the athletic commission investigate the event, the commission is turning to Nathan’s Law as a temporary fix.
“The regulation here today will close some holes in the system that allow fraternities and similar organizations to evade oversight and regulation,” Cloobeck said.
Attorneys for the Valencia family said in a statement just because the commission did not have regulatory authority over the fight night, that does not mean that UNLV, the Kappa Sigma fraternity or the Sahara Event Center are absolved from responsibility to host a safe event.
They also wrote Nathan’s Law is a positive step in the right direction.
“Nathan has left us many gifts, unfortunately, but will never forgotten,” Cloobeck said.
A representative for the commission tells me the emergency regulation is good for 120 days from the time the governor signs it. Then it’s up to Nevada lawmakers at the next legislative session to make the change permanent.
Metro police say no charges will be filed. “Although Mr. Valencia’s death is tragic, the circumstances surrounding his death are not criminal and no charges will be filed.”