The Price to Play: Part II

The world of high school sports is high dollar, and sometimes families bear the brunt of the financial burden. Just like the state of Georgia, Florida does not allocate any money to local districts for high school sports.

The funding is generated locally and sometimes isn't enough to cover all the expenses.

Running a high school athletic program carries a hefty price tag, and it's getting more expensive at every turn. Equipment costs are rising, referee fees are going up and travel expenses are escalating.

Coaches say another trend turning the world of high school sports into high dollar is the need to be competitive.

Jose Morales, volleyball coach at Godby High School, says, "Athletics don't get enough money from [the] district to maintain competitiveness."

Leon County school officials say every high school is given $25,000 to support student activities, which include non-revenue sports like golf. The school band and chorus also get a piece. Unfortunately, many times that passes the buck to student athletes.

Sheree Carter, a student at Godby High School, says, "Right now [I] have to give $100. That covers warm-up. If you don't have a job or $100, that can be a lot, especially if parents can't help."

For parents that can afford to pick up the tab, it's a mounting bill that has the potential to push the thousand dollar threshold, and even though football is a self sufficient sport, it still has to rally funds.

Coaches say fundraising keeps athletes off the sidelines and in the game. Countywide, the district allocates $160,000 for student activities and that money is divided up between elementary, middle and high school student activities. It's for band, chorus and sports that don't generate a lot of revenue, like tennis or golf.

Saturday, we'll look at whether the cost is worth it.


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