MHSAA Fears Cuts To Prep Sports

By: Jason Colthorp
By: Jason Colthorp

"Here we go again."

Jack Roberts has see this movie before. You know, the one where school funding gets cut and districts start panicking about where to trim their budgets and then take a good long look at sports.

Governor Rick Snyder's budget proposal could be the end for some schools sports programs if it gets passes as is.

"I think the more that we chop away at school sports, the more we make them like non-school sports-- parents have to pay, coaches come from the outside, transportation isn't provided," said Roberts who is the head of the Michigan High School Athletic Association. "And if schools are inclined to cut programs all together they will lose an important tool for attracting students."

Some districts have already cut athletic directors, middle school and freshman teams and many have forced students to pay to play sports.

Roberts says districts that actually reduce their pay to play fees rather than increase them-- might be the smart ones.

"There are some-- I think-- shrewd school business people and administrators, who know this is a time for competition between districts to attract students, because that's what funds schools," he said. "If they do not have participation fees and all the surrounding districts do, you just look healthier, you look attractive."

That said-- Roberts isn't convinced this $470 dollar per-pupil cut will be what's handed to schools when the budget is finished.

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  • by Kelly Location: Lansing on Feb 18, 2011 at 09:31 AM
    Here's the little secret about school budgets and cuts. WE are their bosses. WE will tell them where cuts will be made. Every school is overflowing with excess personnel, from janitors to administrators and everything in between. This also includes the many extra-curricular activities offered. Many athletic teams have multiple coaches at each level. There are plenty of cuts that can be made in school districts before actually eliminating a sport (or band or art). Note to parents, if your school district threatens to cut sports (or any other program), don't fall for their empty threats. Please remember that they work for YOU, not the other way around.
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