ROBBINSVILLE, N.J. - New Jersey's public and private high schools won't be split into separate sports leagues.

In a close vote yesterday, members of the New Jersey Interscholastic Athletic Association rejected a plan to separate the schools for football only and a second plan that would have split up the schools for all sports.

Critics say private schools have a competitive advantage because they're not limited by attendance boundaries.

But smaller public schools say they would have been forced to travel greater distances to play other private schools if the system were changed.

The proposal to separate all sports failed by only eight votes. The vote to separate football only failed by a wider margin. *