District To Eliminate Athletic Trainers

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

Budget cuts at the Lansing School District are making their way to the field too. Sources tell News Ten a number of assistant coaches and three athletic trainers have been laid off.

"I can't imagine three trainers make a lot of money," Jim Lynch said.

Lynch is the president of the PTSA and the football boosters at Eastern High School. He said he can't imagine this saves the district all that much considering how much the students would be losing.

"These trainers, they're not just taping ankles and getting water for students," Lynch said. "They're doing a lot of preventative things for students because a lot of student athletes can't get to doctors, they don't have insurance to go to doctors."

A district spokesman said with an $18 million budget deficit this year -- every department needed to make cuts. For athletics, this was the alternative to asking students to pay to play.

But who then will take the place of the trainers? Lynch asked.

"They're the ones making decisions," he said. "If someone gets hurt they help them, they make sure they don't play too soon and help the students get back too."

Parents at Sexton said the trainer there is invaluable, and not just to students. When a football coach collapsed last year, she was the first one to his side.

"If she wasn't there it could have been a different outcome," Darren Dillard, a Sexton football parent, said.

But she was there last year. This year, though, might be a different story, Which makes Dillard uncomfortable.

"I don't feel good about it at all," he said. "I'm really confident when we see the trainer out there responding in a timely manner."

News Ten could not confirm how much this move saves the district.

During the budget process earlier this summer, it was said $200,000 would need to be cut from the athletic department to save money. Board members say they're waiting for details on how that would work logistically.

The MHSAA does not require trainers to be at high school games or practices, only at tournament football games are medical personnel required.

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  • by Danielle McKenzie Location: East Lansing on Jul 24, 2009 at 08:31 AM
    I thank the parents and community members that understand what we, as athletic trainers, do on the field and off. I have hope and it may not be too late to change this decision. It will require support of parents, by calling into the school district to voice their concern. Another great way is to show up at the school district meeting on August 3rd to help support the athletic trainers. Thank you Mr. Dillard, Mr. Lynch and other supporters and hope to see you next year. Danielle McKenzie, ATC Certified Athletic Trainer for Sexton High School
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