Player fees have been eliminated from Warren County schools as the School Board banished all requirements that a student must pay to play.
“The school system will pay for a basic Chevy,” said Director of Schools Bobby Cox, indicating the school system will fund the basics of the various sports activities. “If they want a Cadillac, then that’s up to them.”
The support for sports teams will come from $100,000 to be appropriated by the school system. Booster clubs will still be used to raise money and support their various activities.
The decision for extra financial support comes after booster clubs were having to carry an undue amount of pressure in providing basic equipment for their various sports.
“It’s nonsense for booster clubs to have to buy things like pads and uniforms,” said School Board chairman Jeff Lee, who accepted his new role as chairman at last week’s meeting.
Cox added that by supporting sports from within, it will help local businesses which have been asked for donations at every turn.
“It will help alleviate pressure on local businesses,” Cox said. “They have been very, very supportive over the years.”
The specific wording of the new policy states the school system should provide the basics for athletics, while booster clubs would provide the “extras” for the programs.
“I think this levels the playing field,” Cox said, noting it was a struggle for many parents to come up with player fees each year.
As for parents who have already paid player fees for the year, Cox said it would be between the booster club and the parent as to whether those may be refunded. The “basic Chevy” funding of programs will start immediately.
The school system has placed tighter restrictions on booster clubs recently, requiring them to register with the state, adopt a charter, and establish bylaws before filing the proper paperwork with the school system. This has been done at the request of the State Comptroller.
Along with abolishing player fees and putting up the $100,000 in support of school activities, the School Board agreed to revisit an idea to consolidate the booster clubs into a single organization instead of each activity having its own booster club. It was pointed out the gate from big draws like football and basketball already go into a general athletic fund to be distributed throughout the athletic programs. There was also talk of revisiting concessions which are presently run, in basketball and football, by the Band Boosters, while other athletic booster clubs handle their own concessions.