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Discussion in 'Finance, Investing & Economy' started by GABESTA535, Jul 11, 2008.
School sports programs fight to stay alive in struggling economy - Andy Staples - SI.com
Without reading the article, this is what I don't get: when I was high school, oh about 15 years ago, schools had no problem funding their sports programs. But in that time, they've gotten a lot more money. So where's this money going? I understand that sports like football are expensive given the amount of support and equipment required to run a high level program. But soccer, tennis, basketball, cross country; sports that are low on the equipment needs scale. Why are they pay to play? The kids buy their gears in terms of footwear. The school picks up the tab on uniforms, which is a very small fraction of the overall budget. The fields are already there on school grounds. I just don't get it.
how about we let high schools cut soccer programs since clubs are generally better for player development?
same for basketball. same for baseball. same for volleyball. and swimming. and tennis. and rowing. and sailing. oh, wait, that is a lot of the sports schools offer. so we're left with football and cross country/track.
i'm also of the opinion that high schools should focus on educating their students. i'd really not mind seeing states save some money by cutting championships for sports where the private market is better developed than the high schools. use that money to improve science facilities, attract better teachers, update teaching methods (get more electronic, more use of computers, etc).
As a student that was woefully engaged without soccer, I'd like having a reason to be a good student beyond getting good grades. Obviously with age and maturity this was the wrong tact to take with my academics, but it's what worked at the time. And I know I was wasn't alone. There was a time when schools had no problem funding those programs. What happened?
As far as private leagues doing a better job for sports like soccer and basketball, you're looking at a kid who's parents couldn't afford for me to play club level soccer. It was high school or nothing. I would have never played the game if it wasn't free at the school.
Rowing? Sailing? Ah yes, the public schools of Chicago, with their famed rowing squads. It upsets me that the inner-city schools have had to lose their polo programs. Imagine how many gang conflicts could be addressed and solved on the polo field!
In seriousness, I agree with some of what you say in theory, but in reality, you could make the same arguments for all extracurricular activities--why spend money on the school paper or school play when you could spend it on microscopes and Bunsen burners? Clearly, some schools devote too many resources to sports, but there are certainly positive aspects to high school sports--to any extracurricular activity--that make some expenditures worthwhile.
being from the land of high school basketball, i know that this will never happen. at least it won't in Indiana. i know this especially won't happen for basketball since basketball alone at my old high school (and i'm sure many others in the Hoosier state) nearly funds the rest of the athletic department with the 2,000+ crowds and all.
also, the pride of playing for your school team is enough for many kids to straighten their act up. you just can't compare winning a title for your school and seeing it in the trophy case and doing the same for your club.
I've said this before, and it wasn't well-received by at least one of the masses. The idea I have a problem with is the same one I have as it applies to college- that drama, dance, art and music are subjectively awarded the status of "fine arts" for no better reason than because people tend to have been taught that they're more important than football or basketball. They aren't. I won't say this about the school paper because it serves to help teach students about the importance of journalism in society (thru working on a paper) and the importance of staying informed (thru purchase of that paper).
I can think of several communities in Alabama where football is the glue that binds the community together. Three years into college, I went to Legion Field (Birmingham, AL) to watch my HS play for a state championship. The opponent was from a small town that probably turned out the lights after everyone left for the game. We had about 900 people at the game, and they had easily 10,000. Men wearing their letter jackets from years gone by, women wearing their sons' jackets- a sea of red. They came in RVs the night before and were tailgating when we arrived.
They won. And I'll go to my grave believing that they won because they cared more.
I went to Athens several years ago to watch (current San Diego QB) Phillip Rivers play a game and saw pre-schoolers running around in little Athens High jerseys with his or some other player's name and number on them. It was a brutal reminder of why they have two state championships and my Alma Mater has none.
Anyhow, I have no suggestions about how to make extracurricular activities less expensive, but they're worthwhile- and equally so.
High schools have not nor have they ever been about player development.
He's thinking universities and colleges.
Universities and colleges have never been about player development either outside of football, men's basketball, baseball somewhat, and hockey somewhat. Soccer is a little lower on the scale than college hockey as far as development.
Soccer in colleges is only about players that did well in high school soccer coming up and they get a full-ride scholarship to play. That's it. You want to kill soccer participation in this country 18 and under? Get rid of the college scholarship for it. It's why I just shake my head at these idiots that say "college soccer is stupid, get rid of it!" Go ahead and do it and watch our collective player talent level collapse for everyone except Hispanics.