Pay to participate: Effects on teams and athletes

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Lonny Beasley ‘13

News Editor

The pay to participate policy is a new concept in L’Anse Creuse public schools. Pay to participate policy generates more funding for the school. How could this policy affect school athletics? What are the viewpoints of the students, staff, parents, and coaches? These are few of the many questions many people have asked regarding the new pay to play approach.

Crusader’s starting varsity football running back, Vince Parratto ‘13, is against the new policy amongst many in the student body.

“I would say it negatively affects the team because a lot of people didn’t come out because of pay to play policy” said Parratto ‘13.

According to a recent survey conducted by LCN students, four out of every seven students are against the policy, the remaining being students are either neutral or support the position.

“It was too much of a hassle to come up with the money [to play football],” said Austin Carter ‘13. It is a proven fact that some student athletes’ have not participated in sports due to pay to participate.

“This new pay to participate policy has prevented me from going out for multiple sports,” said Lamonte Baker ‘13

.   While this new direction LCPS has taken has prevented some students from participating in athletics, there are many student athletes that are not affected greatly by this and continue to participate in high school sports.

“Yes [I’m affected], because I play three different sports. I feel like it’s stupid because I do not want to pay to participate, but I will continue to play anyways,” said Desyrae Brown ‘14.

L’Anse Creuse North is one of the last schools in the area to apply this new policy, the board of education felt it was necessary in order to provide the best education possible. With increasingly tight budgets, schools had to cut back on activities and curriculums, unless funding is provided elsewhere.

Ticket sales alone do not generate enough revenue to cover the costs of athletics. The result is the pay to participate policy, which has been implemented here at North.

“We were one of the last schools to implement it, “said football and baseball coach, Terry Ebury. “As far as athletics go, I feel there’s more commitment because the players have to pay and they tend to give more effort.”

While some sports may be impacted more than others because of pay to participate, some sports experienced little to no change for participating athletes. LCN’s swim team picked up just where they left off last year.

“I lost a couple people, maybe two, not because of pay to participate. I lost more swimmers due to students transferring to different schools,” said Coach Mike Owensby “One way or another, it doesn’t bother me.”

Though much of the student body might not agree with the policy, there are those who view the positives in the new pay to participate approach.

“I think anything the district puts out, you should support,” said football Coach Anthony Kainer “I definitely think it motivates the players because when people have to pay the $140 or so, they want to play and get on that field. People aren’t there to be social but to participate in the sport.”

Parents often become overwhelmed with the expenses associated with school sports, on top of all the other expenses just associated with school itself: school supplies, lunch, and school events.

“Athletics at the high school level should be inclusive of all. Students should not be excluded because they do not have the funds to pay,” said Coach Keith Flournoy, basketball coach at U of D Jesuit and former student athlete parent. “Today’s focus being on juvenile obesity, physical fitness, and healthy living people/youth should not be discouraged because they have to pay to play, I know what it’s like to have to pay for athletics; I had to do the same thing for my son, while paying for his education as well. It’s hard on us parents.”

The pay to participate concept has caused much discussion in the hallways and overall atmosphere at LCN.  The districts final decision to implement the new policy did not come without much thought about the students, but was the necessary movement they needed to take at LCN.