Tuesday, April 24, 2007

High Noon For High School Sports?

Mr. McNamar of The Daily Grind is asking a very sensitive question: Has the time come to end high school sports?
The central mission of public education is to teach the skills necessary to contribute to the global society. Then how do high school athletics fit in?

Here are four reasons why high school athletics may not fit into the mission of public education.

Reason 1: Across the country, school districts face a money shortage. Athletics, for all the good that can come from them, add to the financial burden. For instance, a school that has Football, Soccer (boys' and girls'), Volleyball, Tennis (boys' and girls'), Cross-Country, Basketball (boys' and girls'), Swim (boys' and girls'), Bowling, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball, Track (boys' and girls'), and Golf (boys' and girls') has 19 Varsity head coaches. On average, let's assume a salary of 3,000 per coach. That is $57,000. Then, add in the cost of Junior Varsity coaches for each of those sports. At a salary of a modest 1,500, that would be $28,500. But, some of these programs have a third or even fourth coach for Freshman/C-Team participants. I'll estimate five such coaches at the J.V. salary for an additional $7,500. The total output: $93,000.

But that number fails to account for insurance, maintenance, equipment, transportation, supervision, janitorial, referees, Athletic Directors (a plush position at both the school and Central Office--leading to secretarial needs, etc.)
Athletics cost money. Too much money, perhaps.
Get all of Mr. McNamar's reasons and decide for yourself whether or not the game should be called on high school extra-curricular sports.
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