Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fall Sports: Title IX, Pay to Play

This fall, Skyline High School has a female kicker on their football team! Like so many other kickers, Tori Norris grew up playing soccer, and has played soccer for Skyline. (Boys' soccer is a fall sport, so they can't recruit boy soccer players if they also want to play soccer. Boys' soccer is a fall sport thanks to a Title IX lawsuit that dragged on and on and that I wrote about here. Girls' soccer is a spring sport.) Anyway, read about Tori and the Skyline football team here.

Chelsea has rescinded its pay-to-play requirement for sports. It's going to cost them money, but on the other hand, they are very sensitive to the fact that athletics are very important to a large sector of the community (and as the article points out, that's true for athletes but also true for spectators), and that enrollment in sports dropped by double digits when pay to play started. That is true, even though there were exemptions for people getting free and reduced price lunches. It's rather easy to understand why--people just above the free/reduced price lunch cutoff probably comprise a fair number of the students. When you think about it, the median family income in the country is something like $52,000. (I can't remember the exact amount, but I heard the number the other day.) In other words, half the families in the country make less than $52,000. And yet, a family of four whose income is $50,000 is going to be at 250% of the poverty level. They probably have enough income for rent/mortgage, food, gas, and other necessities--but not a lot left over. [Added slightly later: in fact, it turns out that for a family of five, they will qualify for a reduced price lunch with an income of $49,969.]
“Most students will not ask for help, they just won’t show up,” Vogel said.
Read Pete Cunningham's article.

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