What most of those "fees" are is money which goes to cover coaches for
pennies on the dollar for the amount of time and hardwork they put into these
programs. While I think some programs may take it a little over the top, its a
great thing that the kids don't actually have to pay for their football
equipment, otherwise you wouldn't be able to field teams. I've found
that football is at times a ton cheaper than say, Lacrosse, where you have to
When I was in junior high, we had an intramural program that every participant
really enjoyed. It didn't cost the participants anything and it didn't
cost the school anything. Then I got to high school and because I was small and
my parents didn't have any political clout, I didn't get to play high
school sports though I would have loved to. I found out very early that there
are two classes of students in high school: the few privileged athletes and the
rest of us peons who got the great experience of cheering the elite jocks on to
victory. Everything about my high school experience said: "You're
nobody; the athletes are the truly great ones." If a lot more students want
to play football or other sports than there is room for on the team, the
solution is simple: cancel inter school sports and replace it with a well
organized intramural program in which anyone who wants to participate can. It
would be very inexpensive and a lot more students would be able to participate
with no cost to them.
Would these parents that are complaining also complain when their son's and
daughter's coaches are not winning games? Can any administrator guarantee
that no coach has been ever fired because they didn't win games? Take Coach Peck, are there any parents complaining about his program? Any
complaints about the kind of coaching he brings his players? Any complaints
about kind of experiences he gives his players such as a trip to Texas to play
national level talent?Bottom line, these parents have no clue about
the real costs of athletics and football. I love Amy Donaldson's work but
am disappointed a bit in the research here. Do parents have any clue about the
cost of a helmet? And that a certain percentage, maybe half, HAVE to be
refinished every year by law. How about the cost for the district to insure the
program? How about the costs of pads? How about the cost of athletic trainers,
their equipment etc.? And Utah coaches are dirt cheap getting paid cents on the
dollar? If Peck was coaching in Texas he could demand a 100K salary just for
coaching.Parents need a REALITY CHECK!
JSB:Give me a break. There isn't a football program in Utah
that cuts any player regardless of size and ability. Some sports do have cuts
but plenty of sports take everyone that wants to compete such as x-country,
track, wrestling, swimming, and football. The idea that every sports team cuts
and is exclusionary is totally false. I do agree that I would love to see
schools ALSO do Intramural athletics, nothing wrong with that because some
sports do have to do cuts. But even with the ones that do, there are others
that don't, no excuse not to compete.
What it sounds like to me is that parents are not teaching their kids about
working for what they want and expecting everything from their parents. I have
raised 2 kids through high school playing basketball, football and soccer and
both were in club level teams. They worked through the summer to pay for their
fees....and trust me they were in the $1,000 of dollars for each sport and they
paid for them. Now they are paying off as they have full ride scholarships for
their hard work they put in earlier in their life. I hear parents complain all
the time about costs then I see their kids doing jack...parents get your kids to
work for something they want...you all know the saying " have skins in the
game" trust me if the kids work for it, it will pay off in the end. When I
was in high school I coveted an A 2000 baseball glove... I bought it with my own
money for $105....with inflation costs now it would be around $250...Parents
start teaching your kids how to work for what they want or need.
Murray didn't respond? well that is because Murray hasn't had a team
in years. However the 3 million spent on the field that ain't ready
speaks volumes about the administration of the school and district.
No one is talking about the other side of this coin...why are the camps and
colleges charging HS football teams so much?Maybe at the bigger
schools coaches get some of that money, but at the smaller schools, nearly every
penny goes to the team for gear, video equipment, or a blocking dummy or two;
and coaches are lucky to get a new team shirt out of the deal. The teams I know
of use fundraisers, the kids can raise every penny they need for uniforms and
extra gear by selling team shirts, or working a booth at the county fair. And
their coaches don't get a penny for the summer camps, weight lifting time,
or anything else.One more thing...If you are paying $40K for 8
seasons of sports, you are crazy. $5000 for one season? Come on now,
that's just a bit much, don't you think?
In our capitalistic society work = money. For a kid to compete in high school
sports s/he must work and the family must work. That means, investing time and
money far in excess of the dollar amounts reported in the article. The article
does not capture the actual amount of resources (money/time) invested by
students and families to participate in high school sports.... individual camps,
individual training tools and coaches (e.g. Nike Sparq, personal trainers) that
are typically invested by the students and families. The true cost of high
school athletics are paid by the students and families outside of the school.
The school system only subsidizes the costs not borne by the students/families.
But why? from the perspective of the high school, ask a high school
administrator the value of a successful football team for the school's
"Spirit". Schools work better when students are a part of and identify
with winning sports programs. From the perspective of a parent, many days of
the year, my student works more diligently and has learned more from playing
high school sports than they did that day in the class room about work = money.
The article raises some questions about who is in charge, and some needed
disclosure of the costs of athletic programs. Our society sometimes chooses to
be ignorant of costs of "services" or programs we like.We
are in a period of stagnant family income and over the top expenses for school
activities, not just athletics but music, drama, etc., need to be reviewed and
decisions made on the necessity of them as they relate to the program. Communication between the school administration, board and the students
and parents is key. I do not have a silver bullet to suggest as a cure but I do
think that some adult supervision is required when boards and administrations
let athletic and other programs grow beyond reasonable bounds.I am
in favor of high school athletics, and other programs such as music and drama.
They meet a lot of needs of students for growth and self expression, and
recognition. I just think that attention to the costs involved cannot be
ignored or brushed off. Parents need to be more involved and more
discussion and disclosure of budgets needs to take place earlier on in the
cycle. to avoid surprises.
I'm finding it is becoming extremely expensive to have your children
participate in many of the activities that are important to them. I have
relative that was a cheer leader in a local high school and it cost $2,800, $800
just for the uniform. She is no longer a cheer leader because her parents just
couldn't afford it.
Football parents have it easy. Having a daughter on the sideline cheering has
already run $1200 since May. This doesn't include $10 weekly tumbling
lessons. Trips to out of state competitions ($5000). And then there is the
allstar teams that run $200 - $300 per month excluding about $500 in uniforms
and choreography. But when it is all said and done, watching her compete at a
SPORT she loves is worth it.
We have lost sight of the fact that taxpayers establish an educational system
for EDUCATION. Solution? Make athletics community-based. Pull them away from
public education. Athletics has become the tail that wags the
dog. Many high schools need large stadiums with artificial turf. Huge weight
rooms, hiring coaches a higher priority than hiring academic teachers,
student-athletes missing class time to travel, etc. Most high school
administrators are ex-coaches. They tend to see academic classes as a place to
store students when they are not on the field. And how many athletic
scholarships are awarded to Utah students? Very few, and the sacrifice on the
part of the students, parents and the taxpayers is enormous. Wouldn't our
dollars best be spent on academic/vocational programs?
Being a former coach it is impossible to successfully operate solely on the
budget given to a coach at the beginning of the school year. I barely had enough
money to buy new basketballs and other necessary equipment. There needs to be
funding from other avenues whether it be a booster club or fees. It my situation
our booster club did the funding but that required parents to go and ask local
businesses for a sponsorship. Some parents would rather pay a fee than
"work" for the booster club. Some fees are outrageous, but coaches and
schools can have the student-athletes run youth summer camps, sell t-shirts and
find other ways to raise money that required work from the players and not just
a simple giving of money. Parents make your kids work for the money,
save it in the bank and pay for their own fees. If they really feel like they
have to pay to play, then make them earn it. I know many coaches around the
state and know they are high character individuals and will not discourage a kid
from playing because he did not pay! Go find something else to complain about!!!
Chump change compared to the money soccer moms spend.And usually it's
for the moms life style.
I have three children that all participated in various athletics/extra
curricular programs during their years in high school. Yes the fees were high,
however, our children were expected to work during the summer or after school to
pay for their own choices of what they participated in, not because we
couldn't afford the fees, but because it should be their responsiblility.
I felt that high school was a stepping stone to life. Just like in life, if you
want something, you have to go after it. That means devouting the time for
practice and if need be, the time working to pay for the cost associated. Most
of the best lessons our children learned came from sports. Nothing is free, you
have to work for what you want, and life isn't fair. Sounds harsh but that
is the real world. They also paid their own way through college, with a couple
scholarships do to their hard work, and are great productive members of society
that realize life doesn't offer "fee waivers".
be thankful your kid is in football and not club soccer or for the ladies,
cheerleading... way more money out the door in these two sports. I praised the
lord when one of mine picked football over soccer!
I have 5 sons, 3 have chosen to play football and one more coming that wants to
play (the 5th did not). Because of our finances, my children have been taught
that if they want to play, they have to pay. It is not because I don't
want to pay, it is simply because I cannot afford it. So, each of my boys have
learned the value of hard work - mowing lawns, getting jobs, etc. They have
learned that if they put in a solid effort, they will see a reward for that
effort. I know what I am teaching them now will help them as
husbands and fathers. Good work ethic is an extremely high priority in our home
and my boys are learning the same thing my father taught me - if there is
something good that is worth working for, then put in the effort to work for it.
Most times, you feel better after putting in all the hard work than you do when
you get the "reward".
Oatmeal,Participation in virtually ANY school sponsored
extracurricular activity has great benefits to the educational experience of a
student. You can find hundreds, perhaps thousands of studies that show these
benefits. Here are a couple of comments from several."students
achieved much higher rates of retention and graduation, maintained better GPAs,
and had higher good standing rates when they engaged in any of the activities
within the scope of this study" (National Survey of Student Engagement
[NSSE] 2007 & 2008) “adolescents who participated in extracurricular
activities reported higher grades, more positive attitudes toward school, and
higher academic aspirations” (Darling, Caldwell, & Smith, 2005, para.
1)I do agree that we need to be constantly vigilant with our schools
and school boards so that cost does not become a prohibiting factor. But I
certainly do not believe that getting rid of these school activities from the
public school system is in the best interest of the student. The NFHS
philosophy of STUDENT FIRST, ATHLETE SECOND can and should be maintained in the
public schools. Many students would not maintain the academic standards needed
to play without supervision of educators and coaches.
Two things I think people really don't seem to understand.(1)
Things cost a lot of money and the prices seen in the article are just pennies
on the dollar of the actual costs. (2) You get a lot of value for
Bingham's $700/yr. I think you need to look at both the number and the
value. Obviously the number could be relatively high, but it is a lot of bang
for your buck. If your kids aren't doing sports changes are you will
still spend money on them to do something. Even if it is just sitting at home
watching TV and eating Cheetos. I would like to see this guy's
justification $40,000 dollar estimate for expenses. This is a ridiculous
number. If it were that expensive very few people would be playing hs sports.
Coaches make very little money. We have to remember most coaches make like 2
dollars an hour. The school fees barely cover that. They should make an article
however about how much it costs to be a starter. That's another story.
A lot cheaper here in Washington. My son plays Freshman football and basketball,
$40 for a GSL card which covers basketball and football. $180 for summer
football camp, which he couldn't attend because it conflicts with summer
hoops. $60 for summer basketball ball tournaments. So roughly $280 for football
and basketball. Compared to AAU basketball $800 (minimum), and little
league/Grid Kids football $210 + pants $40); High school sports are a deal here
in Spokane $280 < $1,050
Wow. When I clicked on this article, I expected to see much bigger numbers than
I'm seeing. $700? $800? Even $900? All I can say is football is
cheap.Club soccer at a club like Sparta is around $1500/year once
you add in uniforms, tournaments, and travel. There are kids as young as 10
whose parents are paying that much.Want to be a ski racer at for
Park City's ski team? Once you add it all up it's around $10,000 a
year - more if your kid is one of the elites.After reading this
article I'm thinking about pulling my kids out of soccer and skiing and
putting them into high school football so I can save a bunch of money!
I've often wondered how the game of football managed to become so important
to schools that districts and parents will push for million-dollar stadiums and
overpaid coaches for what is essentially a children's game and yet none of
them would dream of giving that much importance to math, science, English and
technology classes that will actually provide the means for gainful employment
to the average student. Sports programs don't teach athletic skills to kids
who don't already have them. Rather, they focus on an elite group and
teach them that they're better than the rest of the students and deserving
of a lot of attention. Many of you know the names of the top athletes from your
local schools. How many of you can name the top math, chemistry, biology or
physics students from the same schools? Who knows the best writers and
historians in those schools? These are the people who will be making a
difference in our society years from now; not the top jocks.
I paid for my son's athletic fees during his first two years of high
school. His mindset was athletics came first, then the classroom and I was
disappointed in his grades. I have changed the conditions a bit for his last
two years. He needs to work and pay for the athletic fees himself and I will
pay for anything pertaining to academics. Not only will he develop a work ethic
but he will see things from my perspective. If he doesn't have any money
he just doesn't play.
The incredible money and time we put into HS sports is unfortunate. So few go
on to professional careers in any kind of sport. The money is far better spent
building science and math programs. Something that really will make a
difference in the lives of the students and the nation.
I am going to sound very arrogant and I apologize if you are offended. It takes
a lot of money and time and hard work to build a successful program. Just as it
takes a lot of time, hard work and money to build a successful business. You either have to raise taxes to pay for everything or you need to
raise the money elsewhere to pay for it. It is very simple. If we want
programs we have to pay for them.Do you Think that American Forks
great band has been built on no work and no funds. What does it cost to buy
those uniforms, the trailers/trucks used to haul the equipment and to pay for
the travel? People have worked hard with fund raising and other activities to
pay for this. There are great thespian programs in some schools and not others
because some one or groups of people spent a lot of time and or money making it
that way.Maybe we should get a little more involved in fundraising
to help offset the costs an quit complaining.
Overpaid coaches? Not in Utah. I think a football coach depending on district
might get 2.5 to 4K. Some even less. I would say a good football coach like
David Peck puts in 1000 hours a year minimum. You do the math...
Ive had kids play at Alta and Jordan and while Alta has higher fees they also
provided plenty of opportunity for the kids to do fundraising and we never had
to pay anything out of pocket except for the district fees. Every other cost
was covered with the fundraising the kids did.Alta was a great experience
for my kids, they learned how to work for what they wanted and were able to
participate on a great team with great coaching. It's too bad Amy
didn't mention any of the positives that these experiences offer our kids,
as opposed to complaining about something she doesn't understand very
well.Football fee's are nothing compared to cheerleading and club
soccer where you are spending in the thousands every year.
I'm in favor of getting rid of all High School sports and moving to a club
system like most other countries do. The amount of money that get's spent
on facilities, athletics, travel, & coaches is sickening.
re. Oatmeal, benjoginko, Eliyahu, terra nova: You are right on target. It's
time we put public school money on education, not on a group of elite jocks. The
research shows that extracurricular activities are important but of the
different activities (debate, drama, music, student government, publications,
clubs and athletics) the poorest predictor of long term success for young men is
high school athletics. When was the last time the Deseret News published the
results of a debate meet? Perhaps it is time to give more attention to brains
instead of brawn.
All of you who are so proud your kids "work and pay for athletics," or
suggest that as the means: What about the kids who work so they can pay for
school clothes, or to support their families? Pay for their fees for them?
What does that teach?I played high school and college sports. It
has gotten way out of hand. Everything the "successful" programs are
doing, as mentioned in this article, would be illegal by NCAA rules if they were
colleges. Utah IS elitist. Extracurricular activities ARE out of control. Get
an education. Get a scholarship. Get a job.
It's all getting out of hand!!!
There are many great comments here. I agree with everyone's point of view.
I lean more heavily to the academic side, however. The report cards for high
schools came out and 6 of the top 10 schools do not even have a football
program. 4 of the top 10 do not even have any sports at all. Something to think
about anyway.As for money parents spend on athletics, that is a drop in
the bucket compared to what the school district itself spends on athletics. Take
a regular football season and the hidden costs. The stadium, ticket takers,
travel, equipment, uniforms, lawn care, custodians, officials, coaches (some
have 8 on the sidelines), insurance, cheerleaders, etc... Those that say
football helps all the other programs with finances is likely untrue. If the
school district did not have to fund football, there would be plenty of money
left over to fund the other sports. When you talk true dollar amounts, football
does not make sense financially. But, if that is your priority, just understand
it is not fiscally fit.
Rational -- I will repeat myself because you apparently missed it "nothing
is free, you have to work for what you want, and life isn't fair." I
think I also mentioned that these same children paid for their college on their
own and were awarded scholarships in part because of their hardwork. True they
did no work to support our family because that was MY job. Many kids go on to be
successful because of or in spite of their life circumstances including finding
ways to fund their own paths. I would also like to mention that our sports
programs were anything but successful - quite the contrary, so the lessons they
learned weren't of entitlement but of working hard for something because it
gave persoanl satisfaction. As for acticities being out of control, maybe you
should look at scholarship, grad school or work applications, all of which ask
about extracurricular activities. Most programs want to see applicants with
both academic and extracurricular accolades. It means they can work hard at
more than one thing!
Sometimes you have to pay to play. Welcome to real life. I know the costs can
be a hardship on a lot of families, but the alternative is not to just stop
doing it to make life easier for them. Sports cost money, coaches need paid,
equipment needs replaced, trips need paid for etc. Football programs don't
run on hopes and dreams. The cost shouldn't be passed on to the schools
either. Only a few programs in the state could afford to take all the cost on
themselves.The biggest concern is transparency. So long as they
show exactly what the money is being used for then there is no problem. Let the
parents decide if that %700 is worth it or not. If they don't want to pay
that kind of money then don't sign your kid up for football. Also, a
little planning for the future goes a long way. If your junior high player is
interested in football then plan ahead for that. Don't just show up day 1
of practice looking for a hand out.
I love all the people defending these "winning schools" and their
exorbidant fees. Imagine if you had to pay a fee to take a math class. Then
people would be crying foul. Either make the program affordable to
ALL families in the district or eliminate it.The benefit of having
no football program: less expense to families, fewer kids with concussions,
fewer school bullies.
Eagle,Thank you for some common sense. Most people and obviously Amy
Donaldson are clueless about all the costs of pads, equipment, and all the
hidden costs. Most people are also clueless about all the money the football
programs bring in to the school. I too would have appreciated a more
professional educated article.
Some of you still don't get it.Some schools build a stadium
with turf, which Football, Boys and Girls Soccer, and Track and Field use, as
well as several other groups, in most places. But considering the 50-80 million
the big schools cost, that extra 3-5 million isn't that big of a deal,
relatively speaking. Especially when it reduces costs for upkeep, grounds
keeping, painting, and all the other things the grass fields demand.Then, the schools pay for 6-10 coaches, and gives a chunk of money to the
program...I know rural schools that get a $500 budget. They also get the
participation fees. 100 kids would be 3500-6500..not even enough to buy them
all jerseys, much less helmets and pads.So you that are crying about
schools spending too much...it isn't true. The kids that play are paying
their way.I still find it amazing that no one is complaining about
Drill Team costs. 3-6 outfits, and they cost $800? Really?
Some of the dance/singing groups spend obscene amounts of money. I have two
girls that are both part of the singers program, and it was $1000 EACH to send
them on the NYC trip the school wanted to do. They also did a $500+ California
trip, and a $200+ Idaho trip. Honestly I wish I had a boy playing football for
Bingham. It would be cheaper!At the end of the day I think it is
important to remember that your kid is not entitled to play football. School is
about the school work, not the extra curricular activities. The school owes it
to your kid to make sure he gets the best they can offer academically, but no
one owes your kid a free ride onto a championship football team. That is
something that is earned through hard work, and yes even money.If
parents really can't afford all the fees then maybe put some responsibility
on your student (for once). A summer job could pay for anything they wanted to
do during the school year. Make them meet you half way on stuff. That can only
be good for them in the long run.
I am a high school teacher and have coached boys soccer for the last 5 years.I also had twin daughters participate in Drill Team for four years. Upwards of
15,000$. Money well spent in my opinion. A sacrifice? Definitely! But a
sacrifice I am glad we made.Our education is the sum of many parts.
Classrooms, teachers, administration, facilities, parents, home-life,
availability of technology and YES....extra-curricular activities. With regards
to my own children, I remind myself not to let school get in the way of their
education.I don't speak Japanese or German. Why? Because we are a
nation that is determined to compete. To win! Perhaps it has been to long
since we experienced the price of coming in second place. Teaching our children
the importance of success through competition and hard work is valuable.
Sounds like more entitlement is wanted by some people. Parents claiming fees
keep their kids from played even the most talented players might not get a
chance because of fees. Most of the coaches offer ways to provide all mandatory
and most optional fees for anyone who truly wants to participate. I say truly
because some people just want it handed to them and not do anything in return.
As a high school football player I worked mowing lawns doing whatever it took so
I could pay for the camps I went to. Our head coach would drive us to and from
individual camps some over 300 miles away at his own expense. Two outrageous
claims from parents in this article is it costs $40k for a two sport athlete
over 4 years of high school. The only way that could possibly be true is if you
don't know how to say no to your kid and they have to have all the bells
and whistles every season, and then some. Buying your kid new cleats and gloves
and whatever else just because their friend is getting them isn't a cost
associated with them simply participating.
Second fallacy, "if a kid can't afford to pay he won't get a
chance to play." One parent said even if they're talented this was
true. Most coaches go out of their way to provide a way for students talented or
not to participate if they want to. It may take some extra effort on the
students part but no coach in their right mind is going to tell a kid they
can't play because they can't afford it. I know coaches who hire kids
to do the most trivial jobs for them and pay them out of their own pocket so
they can work off their optional fees. I say optional fees because most kids in
that situation will be on fee waivers as far as the mandatory fees go. Still
even if the waivers don't cover all the mandatory fees most coaches will
provide a way for all who wish to, to participate. No high school coach in this
state is in it for the money. If they broke it down most would make $1/hr or
less for what they get paid, a lot are unpaid volunteers.
I think a lot of you are missing the point of this article. Yes, it's nice
to teach kids the value of hard work and paying your own way and all that--I
payed my way all through my football years by fundraising and part-time jobs.
However, a lot of kids on the team I coach now doesn't have that luxury.
Many of them already have jobs to help the family meet expenses. Sure there is
fundraising, but the community we live in can only afford to buy so much cookie
dough and the neighborhood businesses can only do so much. For those reasons,
we try to keep the cost down... but its hard to compete. There is a disparity,
you can decide if it's 'fair' or not. Someone should do an
analysis: compare MaxPrep rankings to percentage of students on fee waiver and
see if there is correlation.