NCAA Division III Delegates Adopt Fundraising Proposal2011-09-01
Originally written by Gary Brown for NCAA.org; originally posted on Jan. 16, 2011
SAN ANTONIO – After a year of thorough, thoughtful and at times contentious debate, Division III delegates at Saturday’s NCAA Convention business session agreed to: Allow institutions to earmark student-athlete fundraising dollars, let student-athletes access strength and conditioning personnel during the academic year, and commission a study on the appropriate number of student-athletes that can be on the bench during NCAA championships competition.
Those three decisions garnered the most discussion during a 90-minute voting session in which delegates considered 14 legislative items, adopting 11 proposals (one that was amended) and defeating one. Two were withdrawn.
Other significant adoptions included the creation of a Division III Men’s Volleyball Championship beginning in 2012 and a delineation of legislative oversight between the Presidents and Management Councils.
The proposal that was defeated would have allowed institutions an unlimited number of student-athletes to dress, participate in warm-ups and be in the bench area for an NCAA championship contest (in all sports but football). While that was hotly debated, delegates preferred a resolution from the Presidents Council to charge the Division III Championships Committee with determining the appropriate allowances for championships beginning next fall.
Among the most rigorous debates at Saturday’s business session came early in the agenda with Proposal No. 4, which by its adoption allows schools to designate money a student-athlete earns via fundraising toward that student-athlete’s actual and necessary expenses for the activity or item in question.
The debate on the Convention floor resembled the many exchanges throughout the year within the governance structure and membership, with supporters citing institutional autonomy and flexibility, and opponents cautioning against compromising the team spirit of college sports.
Presidents Council members were among those opposed.
Jack Ohle from Gustavus Adolphus said supporting the proposal would put institutions in a vulnerable position regarding the management of these fundraising efforts.
“The current legislation makes it clear that any funds raised for an institutional fundraiser must go to the team or institution generally,” he said. “Therefore, the funds are controlled by the institution. This proposal confuses who is in control of these funds by increasing pressure on schools to designate funds to specific student-athletes, thereby shifting control to others.”
The Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee strongly endorsed the proposal, citing benefits to individual student-athletes in different socioeconomic circumstances and the fact that the legislation makes the practice permissive, not required.
SAAC members enjoyed ample support from the floor, too.
Marywood Athletics Director Mary Jo Gunning said the proposal gives institutions the ability to allow student-athletes to benefit directly from their own efforts. “This would not make fundraising a requirement for participation,” she said.
Montclair State AD Holly Gera said the process of “earmarking” is really a matter of record keeping, and that there were enough guidelines in the proposal to preserve the spirit of amateurism.
Joe Onderko, commissioner of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference, said while members appreciated the Presidents Council’s thoughtful consideration, the proposal was “common sense legislation” and that no competitive advantage could be gained from its passage.
“It is permissive in both intent and application,” he said.
Gustavus President Ohle said the Council’s opposition was not meant as a reaction against the SAAC. “We heard from the student-athletes, and it is not against them that we make this decision,” he said. “But it is an institutional decision that presidents feel strongly about. There appears to be no ‘crisis’ to change the rules in a manner that will cause increased pressure on individual student-athletes, additional compliance monitoring and confusion, and step away from our team focus.”
In the end, though, the motion carried by a 281-187-4 count.
Strength and conditioning
SAAC members also favored Convention Proposal No. 7, which would have allowed certified strength and conditioning personnel to conduct voluntary workouts for student-athletes year-round. However, they had to settle for access only during the academic year.
That’s because delegates supported a Presidents Council-sponsored amendment that produced a compromise of sorts to give student-athletes more access but protect their free time during the summer.
Kathy Owens, president at Gwenydd-Mercy and a member of the Presidents Council, said the amendment reinforces the principle of “proportion,” which is a key attribute of Division III. “It balances student-athletes’ desire for proper training against the potential increased pressure on student-athletes to participate in voluntary workouts year-round,” she said.
SAAC members opposed the amendment because they felt it disadvantaged fall-sport athletes in their off-season preparations.
But the amendment passed, 303-164-5. (A motion to refer the entire proposal to committee for further clarification of “nationally recognized” was defeated, 134-324-11.)
The vote on the proposal as amended was just as decisive, with adoption by a 339-128-3 margin.
Bench and squad size
Delegates also debated the question of bench size. No one in the ballroom seemed to disagree that the current appropriations need review, but there was stern disagreement on the best way to resolve it.
The Presidents Council strongly preferred its resolution to ask the Championships Committee to study the appropriate squad, travel and bench limits for championship competition. The study and any resultant policy changes would be complete by July 1 and would not change current legislation or policy.
But sponsors of Proposal No. 10 (the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference, the Empire 8 and the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association) wanted institutional autonomy to rule right away.
The problem with that approach for some delegates was that Proposal No. 10 didn’t include football (the Empire 8 and MIAA had withdrawn Proposal No. 9 addressing all sports). But the overriding concern from the floor was with the “unlimited” nature of the proposal and with the inequities it could produce.
“None of us wants to tell a student-athlete who has practiced all season that NCAA policy prohibits him or her from sitting with their team during the championship, but neither do we want to sit across from a team at those championships that have significantly more student-athletes in uniform,” said Emory Athletics Director Tim Downes, who sits on both the Management Council and Championships Committee.
Championships Committee chair Ira Zeff, the AD at Nebraska Wesleyan, said, “The membership would never stand for a rule that allows the home team 40 people on the bench and the visitors 25. Proposal 10 does that.”
The resolution, which was adopted by an overwhelming 456-8-2 margin, could result in policy changes that affect championships as early as next fall.
College Teams, Relying on Deception, Undermine Gender Equity2011-04-25
Originally written by Katie Thomas for the New York Times
Ever since Congress passed the federal gender-equity law known as Title IX, universities have opened their gyms and athletic fields to millions of women who previously did not have chances to play. But as women have surged into a majority on campus in recent years, many institutions have resorted to subterfuge to make it look as if they are offering more spots to women.
At the University of South Florida, more than half of the 71 women on the cross-country roster failed to run a race in 2009. Asked about it, a few laughed and said they did not know they were on the team.
At Marshall University, the women’s tennis coach recently invited three freshmen onto the team even though he knew they were not good enough to practice against his scholarship athletes, let alone compete. They could come to practice whenever they liked, he told them, and would not have to travel with the team.
At Cornell, only when the 34 fencers on the women’s team take off their protective masks at practice does it become clear that 15 of them are men. Texas A&M and Duke are among the elite women’s basketball teams that also take advantage of a federal loophole that allows them to report male practice players as female participants.
Title IX, passed in 1972 at the height of the women’s rights movement, banned sex discrimination in any federally financed education program. It threw into sharp relief the unequal treatment of male and female athletes on college campuses.
Over the next 40 years, the law spawned a cultural transformation: the number of women competing in college sports has soared by more than 500 percent — to 186,000 a year from fewer than 30,000 in 1972.
But as women have grown to 57 percent of American colleges’ enrollment, athletic programs have increasingly struggled to field a proportional number of female athletes. And instead of pouring money into new women’s teams or trimming the rosters of prized football teams, many colleges are turning to a sleight of hand known as roster management. According to a review of public records from more than 20 colleges and universities by The New York Times, and an analysis of federal participation statistics from all 345 institutions in N.C.A.A. Division I — the highest level of college sports — many are padding women’s team rosters with underqualified, even unwitting, athletes. They are counting male practice players as women. And they are trimming the rosters of men’s teams.
“Those of us in the business know that universities have been end-running Title IX for a long time, and they do it until they get caught,” said Donna E. Shalala, the president of the University of Miami.
Each year, institutions must report their male and female participation numbers to the Department of Education. And even though the numbers would not be used in a formal investigation, many colleges manipulate them to avoid bringing about one. The embarrassment that comes with a public inquiry or a lawsuit can motivate them to do what it takes to stay under the radar.
Shrinking budgets also spur universities to use these tactics, said Jake Crouthamel, a former Syracuse athletic director. “It’s easier to add more people on a roster than it is to start a new sport,” he said.
Yet football, the pride of many universities and a draw for alumni, rarely faces cuts. The average Division I football team went from 95 players 30 years ago to 111 players in 2009-10.
“Football is the elephant in the whole thing,” Mr. Crouthamel said. “That’s the monster.”
Advocates for men’s teams say roster management hurts their cause as well, because colleges tend to eliminate men’s sports rather than increase women’s sports to reach parity. Officials have also cut the size of men’s teams, compromising their competitiveness.
“I think roster management is almost a cuss word,” said Tommy Bell, the athletic director at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne. He wants to restore a men’s track team, he said, but to do so, he must trim men’s spots elsewhere. “I hate doing it,” he said.
According to the most current federal numbers, women make up 53 percent of the student body at Division I institutions yet only 46 percent of all athletes. And that discrepancy does not take into account all the tactics used to boost the numbers artificially.
Roster management came under scrutiny last year when a federal judge ruled that Quinnipiac University in Connecticut had violated Title IX by engaging in several questionable practices, including requiring that women cross-country runners join the indoor and outdoor track teams so they could be counted three times. The judge found earlier that Quinnipiac had been padding women’s rosters by counting players, then cutting them a few weeks later. Quinnipiac athletic officials declined to comment, but in its appeal, the university said the judge’s conclusion that women were required to be on all three teams was not supported by evidence.
Russlynn H. Ali, the assistant education secretary who heads the Office for Civil Rights, which is charged with enforcing Title IX, said the Quinnipiac case was “a check on what some were doing, either knowingly or unwittingly.”
Nancy Hogshead-Makar, an Olympic swimmer and the senior director of advocacy at the Women’s Sports Foundation, said: “The fraud is disheartening. Intercollegiate athletics are rare educational opportunities, subsidized with our tax dollars, which deliver superior lifelong returns on investment. When an athletic department engineers itself to produce only the appearance of fairness, they flout the law and cheat women.”
When One Equals Three
The roots of South Florida’s enormous women’s cross-country team can be traced to 1997, when the university added football.
Universities must demonstrate compliance with Title IX in at least one of three ways: by showing that the number of female athletes is in proportion to overall female enrollment, by demonstrating a history of expanding opportunities for women, or by proving that they are meeting the athletic interests and abilities of their female students.
After South Florida added more than 100 football players, it was out of balance under the first test. Lamar Daniel, a gender-equity consultant, told the university in 2002 that it failed the other two as well. He recommended adding a women’s swimming team and warned that trying to comply with the proportionality option would be difficult because South Florida’s female participation numbers were too low.
But university officials tried anyway. A primary strategy was to expand the women’s running teams. Female runners can be a bonanza because a single athlete can be counted up to three times, as a member of the cross-country and the indoor and outdoor track teams.
In 2002, 21 South Florida women competed in cross-country. By 2008, the number had grown to 75 — more than quadruple the size of an average Division I cross-country team.
When told of the team’s size, Mr. Daniel, a former investigator for the Office for Civil Rights, said: “Good gracious. That would certainly justify further examination.”
In 2009-10, South Florida reported 71 women on its cross-country team, but race results show only 28 competed in at least one race.
At a recent track meet at South Florida, three female long jumpers who are listed on the cross-country roster said they were not members of that team.
“They have us on cross-country if we want to, like for extra conditioning, but we have fall training, so I don’t,” Tralanda Todd, one of the jumpers, said.
Ms. Ali, the assistant education secretary, said that it was fair to count athletes multiple times, but that “if they didn’t know they were on the team, in all likelihood we would determine that not to be a meaningful participation opportunity.”
Sarah Till, who graduated from South Florida in 2009, was a more extreme case. She said that she quit and returned her track scholarship in her sophomore year, but her name was listed on the rosters of all three squads through her junior year.
“They wanted to keep me on the roster because the more girls they have on the roster, the more positions they have to give for the guys’ teams,” she said, adding that a former assistant coach had told her she would receive running shoes and priority class registration as a reward for staying on the rosters.
After being contacted by The Times, South Florida officials said they would end the practice of listing athletes who do not participate on team rosters. But Bill McGillis, the executive associate athletic director, defended providing “opportunities to women in cross-country in large numbers.”
South Florida is not the only university to open its rosters to women, no matter their skill level. Florida State and Marshall encourage their women’s coaches to accept many walk-ons — generally athletes who were not recruited — while often prohibiting or limiting the same practice on men’s teams.
At Marshall, John Mercer, the women’s tennis coach, added three freshman walk-ons to satisfy the athletic department’s 10-player team minimum. “They’re being nice and trying to help us fill the spots, to help our rosters,” he said. While practices are optional this year, a Marshall official said more will be expected of the walk-ons next year once their class schedules are arranged to accommodate regular practices.
The Office for Civil Rights does not require athletes to compete to be counted. Still, some have questioned why elite Division I programs are opening rosters to underqualified athletes.
Kristen Galles, a lawyer who represents athletes in Title IX lawsuits, said colleges that were committed to gender equity “are going to add new women’s teams, not tell your softball coach to have 30 softball players.”
Men as Women
Division I programs routinely count male players who practice with women’s teams as female participants. According to the Department of Education, they are doing nothing wrong.
David A. Bergeron, the deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Postsecondary Education, said men should be counted on women’s teams if they receive coaching and practice with women.
Texas A&M, which just won the women’s Division I basketball championship, reported 32 players in the 2009-10 academic year, although 14 were men. Cornell included 19 men among the women’s fencing, volleyball and basketball teams in the 2009-10 numbers reported to Bergeron’s office. Yet Cornell counted the five female coxswains for the men’s rowing team as female athletes.
Cornell and Texas A&M officials said they were simply following the rules, odd as they are. “We count who we’re supposed to count,” J. Andrew Noel Jr., Cornell’s athletic director, said.
Todd Kennett, a Cornell men’s rowing coach, said he exploited the loophole. “The women on my team count as women, which allows me to put more men on my roster,” he said, adding that the women were talented coxswains.
Ms. Ali said that universities investigated by her office would never get away with counting men as women, but acknowledged that a formal inquiry is rare.
“I would hope, as someone who cares about these issues, that that data is accurate and that institutions would not try and game it,” she said.
Numbers Up, Bodies Down
Double- and triple-counting women has allowed four dozen Division I universities to mask the fact that they have fewer female athletes. At those institutions, overall participation rates appeared to show that women were gaining ground. But when the duplications were not counted, records show the percentage of women who played for those universities fell.
Oklahoma State reported 35 more female participants in the 2009-10 academic year than in 2003-4, although the number of women actually competing decreased by 12. The number of male athletes increased by 22 during that period. Amy Weeks, an associate athletic director, attributed the decrease in female athletes to natural fluctuation. When universities are found to be noncompliant, the solution does not always satisfy the complainants.
The University of California, Irvine, is among at least five California universities that sponsor women’s indoor track teams despite a mild climate and a dearth of indoor facilities. Those universities do not offer men’s indoor track.
Last year, an investigation by the Office for Civil Rights concluded that Irvine was not complying with Title IX because its indoor track team was essentially a ruse. It competed in just one meet per year and several women on the roster “vigorously stated” that they were not on the team.
Jessie Rogers, 20, filed the complaint after her Irvine swimming team was cut in 2009. “All I wanted was to get that women’s swimming team back,” she said.
That did not happen. Irvine reached an agreement with the Office for Civil Rights to expand its indoor track schedule and to increase its roster.
Irvine officials would say only that they were committed to providing equal opportunities. Ms. Ali said that her office encouraged more meaningful changes but all it could do was force institutions to follow the letter of the law.
The Cal Baseball Resurrection: Golden Bears Banking on Making a Profit2011-04-22
Originally written by Hannah Karp for the Wall Street Journal
When the University of California, Berkeley announced this fall it was cutting funding for its venerable 118-year-old baseball team, the program was a money-sucking sponge that drew few fans and even fewer sponsors to its no-frills campus ballyard.
Just six months later, Cal baseball is alive and kicking, flush with a fresh $10 million in donations and ranked No. 15 in the country. And as budget cuts continue to force colleges to slash athletic spending, Cal is embarking on an unorthodox and creative funding plan that, if it works, may serve as a blueprint for the future of college sports. The plan, in the simplest possible terms, is this: to make the team revenue positive.
This may seem like a tall order for a baseball program that earned just $180,000 in 2010. But last month, after consulting everyone from the president of the San Francisco Giants to a customer fulfillment manager at Intel Corp., Cal's Baseball Foundation presented school officials with a strategic plan under which the program can cover its roughly $1 million in operating costs while generating net income of $5,000 a year.
Some parts of the plan are obvious, like installing lighting at Evans Diamond so games can be played at night when more fans can come. Other innovations, if Cal adopts them, could put the Bears at the forefront of collegiate baseball. These include voluntarily limiting scholarships, selling naming rights to the diamond, offering electronic game-day programs for smartphones and even squaring off against major-league teams.
Under the new plan, Cal baseball's longtime head coach, David Esquer, will assume primary responsibility for team fundraising and marketing. "We have to try to be creative," Esquer says.
A combination of budget cuts and pressure to comply with Title IX has led many schools to shutter teams—especially men's teams. The NCAA's top division has seen a net loss of 287 men's teams since 1988 while the number of women's teams grew by 714. Tennis, swimming and track and field have been the primary casualties. Five Division I schools dropped football teams in the past five years while several others eliminated baseball.
The Cal Baseball Foundation says the team's troubles began four years ago when the school's athletic department, in a bid to encourage broader giving, stopped raising funds for each sport individually. The consequence was a sharp decline in gifts for baseball, from $500,000 in 2006 to $180,000 in 2010. The school announced in September that baseball would be one of several sports eliminated.
To save the team in the short term, supporters had to raise nearly $10 million, the estimated amount needed to keep the program afloat (without the school's help) for the next seven to ten years. Current players pitched in by cold-calling potential donors, founding a "Save Cal Baseball" website and making a "reinstatement rap" video (…we have some extra tickets, I hope that we can sell some…).
Junior pitcher Matt Flemer said when the players passed out flyers at the annual Stanford football game, even rival Cardinal fans asked where they could send checks. "Everyone needs a rival to hate—I guess now you have to help pay for it," says Stanford alum Ed Sprague, a former major leaguer.
To formulate its profit plan, Cal supporters studied the habits of successful baseball programs like Texas A&M, which generates significant revenue in season ticket sales and allows local restaurants to sell food before games for a fee. Hawaii's team, which is also healthy, enjoys robust beer sales in the stadium and hosts entertainment between innings. Oregon's baseball program plays in a state-of-the-art stadium that doubles as event space before football games.
Cal supporters say everything from outfield advertising and theme nights to kids' camps and pre-season banquets are on the table. Last month, Cal hosted its first-ever three-day tournament at AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants, and a game against the Giants or the A's may be in the works. "A lot of people don't even know where we play– it's pretty sad," says senior outfielder Austin Booker. Before the team's funding was cut this fall, he says, "we didn't have that much publicity."
Cal alumni say the crisis has made clear that teams have to stop relying on athletic departments. Former Cal player Sam Petke, one of the alumni working to save the team, says every college program should cultivate "an atmosphere of fundraising all of the time."
"I absolutely think that in this new financial reality for higher education, we will need to look more to philanthropy and business development," says Cal's athletic director, Sandy Barbour. She added that more Cal teams may be asked down the road to cover costs for things like sports medicine, strength and conditioning and facility usage.
Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, says Cal's new baseball model probably wouldn't work for football or basketball, where rising coaching salaries, personnel numbers and recruiting expenses have led costs to outstrip revenues at most schools year after year. But it could be an answer for "non-revenue" sports like baseball, swimming and wrestling where operating costs have held relatively steady. "Sports where you don't have the same type of expense escalation make this type of funding model a little more practical," she says.
Dan Hubbs, Cal's assistant head baseball coach, says there maybe drawbacks to transforming the team into a moneymaker, including the weight of higher expectations. "If you're gonna charge more, you've got to put an entertaining product on the field," he says.
Cal's approach won't work at every school. After all, Cal benefits from a large and affluent alumni base and proximity to Silicon Valley. Supporters of Northern Iowa's baseball team couldn't raise the $1.5 million it needed to sustain the team independently for three years.
Former Cal player Brennan Boesch, a Detroit Tigers outfielder who made a pledge this year, said he's resigned to the idea that college baseball may need a little extra funding.
"If you have enough people that are passionate enough, you can take power away from university and put it in the hands of people that care more about the program," he says.
Rockland County Public Schools Setlle Logo Lawsuit with Florida State University2011-03-19
Originally written by Michelle Floyd for the Rockdale Citizen
In August, the Collegiate Licensing Company contacted Salem High School on behalf of the University to express its concern of the school’s use of the word “Seminole” and the school’s Seminole head and spear logo.
“I find it appalling that a university would go after a school system for this, especially in these economic times, when we can’t stand up and fight,” school board member Darlene Hotchkiss said. “If we had the money, there’s part of me that would fight this to the end.”
Salem High School opened in 1991 and Memorial Middle School opened in 1993, and they have used the same wording and the same or similar logos since opening. Originally, SHS used a different logo and at some point over the years switched to the current logo with an Indian head and spear, according to Cindy Ball, director of Community Relations at RCPS.
The Rockdale County Board of Education approved a settlement and license agreement with FSU after executive session at its monthly school board meeting on Thursday. Hotchkiss and Vice Chairwoman Jean Yontz voted against the agreement.
“I cannot believe FSU thinks Salem High School is a threat to them monetarily,” Yontz said Friday. “What about all of the other high schools in America?”
Yontz noted that her grandson plays for the Kansas City Royals little league baseball team, and Hotchkiss noted that many schools in Georgia use the bulldog as their logo, including Rockdale County High School, not to mention schools all over the United States are named after professional and college sports teams.
“You would think they would be honored and proud to have their name associated with it,” Yontz said. “I think it’s very small on their part.”
School board Chairman Wales Barksdale said spending money on further litigation wouldn’t be beneficial to the school system.
“It’s their marks, and they have them,” he said. “I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I don’t see spending the money for it. ... We worked out an agreement where we have time to change things.”
According to the agreement, which school board attorney Jack Lance has reviewed, Salem High and Memorial Middle must discontinue their existing use of the Seminole head design mark, the lady Seminole head design mark, the spear design mark and the words “Seminoles” and “Noles” unless it is with the school’s name.
Salem has 30 days to remove the items from its website and publications. It has until Aug. 1, 2011, to remove them from the football helmets; until Aug. 1, 2016, to remove them from the campus walls and floors and from all athletic uniforms; until Aug. 1, 2019 to remove them from all band uniforms; and until Aug. 1, 2012, to remove them from baseball caps. They can use their stationery until it’s exhausted.
At Memorial Middle School, it only has to remove the items from its website and publications within 30 days and from its school crest by Aug. 1, 2014. It, too, can use stationery with the items until its exhausted.
FSU wants to avoid any potential for confusion, according to the agreement.
“This is very costly to us,” Hotchkiss said. “The budget is extremely tight as it is right now. ... It’s a true slap in the face to public education.”
Ball said if RCPS had to make all of the requested changes within 30 days, it would have cost an estimated $50,000. However, Lance worked it out for the agreement to be nominal costs to the school system over a period of time — decals on the helmets will be replaced when they are refurbished each summer and varsity sports uniforms are replaced every three years.
Lance said it could cost RCPS about $250,000 to defend a federal lawsuit.
College sports not recession-proof either2011-02-21
Originally written for the U. of Virginia-Wise Highland Cavalier
The economic recession has the University of California suffering just like every other institution of higher learning in the country.
However, unlike other schools that are seeking budget cuts from unnecessary programs internally, Cal is seeking to cut collegiate athletics.
Specifically, Cal was slated to cut baseball, rugby, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and women’s lacrosse.
The cuts are being made despite the fact that these teams have been so successful representing the university.
The rugby team has won 25 national championships and three gold medals for the United States during the Olympics. The Cal’s men’s gymnastics and baseball teams have both won four national championships each.
Originally, Cal said it would need $80 million to keep the five sports alive, then the number dropped to $25 million, then to $10 million.
Emergency fundraising managed to raise more than $12 million, and now the university is saying that isn’t enough.
Despite conference changes which give the Pac-12 schools between $15-20 million per year for athletic teams, Cal still plans to cut men’s gymnastics and baseball.
Like other schools, football has become Cal’s only profitable sport. It is self-sustaining and gives money to the athletic department’s 27 other sports teams.
It would appear that with the new revenue flow, Cal should be able to save its sports teams.
For many students, participating in athletics offers them a way to attend college. Without athletics, they may never attend.
When a reporter asked former Indiana University head coach Bob Knight what he thought about the role of college sports, he responded that it was to help individuals who have no chance of ever getting into college to earn an advanced education.
Cal is trying to save money by cutting sports teams and affiliates of the college, sports fans and athletes will suffer the consequences.
Already, donors are dropping endowments, citing a lack of fiscal responsibility.
If a major institution like the University of California cannot manage to maintain athletic teams, how can small liberal arts colleges like us maintain them?
It is simple: Cal can, but won’t save its sports teams.
Cutting sports is a simple fix to a difficult problem.
Cal needs to examine itself and find a better and more responsible solution.
Education funding crisis expected to grow beyond Wisconsin2011-02-18
Article written by Michael Martinez for CNN.com
This week's growing controversy about funding public education in Wisconsin is hardly an isolated incident, as 40 states are coping with budget shortfalls totaling $140 billion, which will threaten America's 14,000 school districts for the next five years, one analyst said Thursday.
Concerns about funding kindergarten-through-12th-grade systems were evident this week in Denver when big education's stakeholders -- the nation's two largest teachers unions, a superintendents group, a school boards group and federal education officials -- met to discuss labor-management cooperation, one participant said.
The summit was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education.
"What is becoming very clear is that state legislatures and governors are struggling with huge budget shortfalls," said Anne Bryant, executive director of the National School Boards Association, who attended the gathering.
Whereas states found ways in the past to patch over budget problems, now it's a "dire" situation, Bryant said. That played out in the extraordinary rallies by Wisconsin teachers unions and their supporters this week condemning proposed cuts in pension and health care benefits.
"Budget issues were front and center" at this week's unusual gathering of public education's labor and management leaders in Denver, Bryant said. "As we all see tremendous budget shortfalls in states, it's going to take all of us working together, instead of pitting one set of adults against another set of adults," she added.
What concerns educators is that the quality of education -- and student achievement -- will take staggering hits under budget cuts now being considered in many states, Bryant said.
So far, shortened school years and teacher layoffs have been limited to places such as Hawaii and Los Angeles, said Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the right-leaning think-tank American Enterprise Institute. Almost half of K-12 school funding typically comes from state budgets, he said.
Most budget-tightening in districts across the nation have focused on putting off textbook purchases, turning down thermostats, tightening up school bus routes, and eliminating electives and after-school activities, Hess said.
"What we are looking at going forward is much more in the way of layoffs and furloughs, but that would be the results of unions choosing not to collaborate with districts to address unaffordable pensions, health care or salary costs," Hess said.
Such a conflict is playing out in Wisconsin, where for the second day Wednesday, at least 10,000 demonstrators and teacher union supporters protested a proposal by Gov. Scott Walker to remedy a $137 million shortfall this year.
In a budgetary situation being played out in other cash-strapped states and municipalities, the legislation requires workers to cover more of their health care premiums and pension contributions, although supporters say local governments will ultimately decide on health care contributions for their employees.
The Wisconsin legislation also requires collective bargaining units to conduct annual votes to maintain certification. Unions would lose the right to have dues deducted from worker paychecks and collective bargaining can only cover wages.
"Calling this a budget bill is a smokescreen," said Bryan Kennedy, president of American Federation of Teachers-Wisconsin, which represents about 17,000 employees. "This is an attack on all labor organizations."
The National Conference of State Legislatures has compiled a list of the "serious budget challenges" awaiting state lawmakers this year, largely because states will see $37.9 billion less in federal stimulus, or American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, funds later this year.
"This will create big holes in the state budgets -- what many officials are calling the 'ARRA cliff,'" according to a recent report by the national conference.
Though the recession ended in June 2009, state finances will be slow to recover, according to the conference report.
Some of this year's biggest budget gaps are $13 billion in Illinois, $6 billion in California, $4 billion in Texas and $1.1 billion in Washington, the conference report said.
The American Federation of Teachers has proposed options for states to address the shortfalls, especially after at least 25 states cut funding for K-12 education in 2009 and 34 states cut higher education spending.
States could increase revenues by improving tax enforcement and collections, modernizing the corporate income tax, reforming economic development subsidies and updating income tax codes, an AFT report recommended in 2009.
But Hess said the education funding crisis is going to get worse before it gets better, partly because a third of K-to-12 funding comes from property taxes, whose changes tend to lag behind tax assessments by about three years.
That means school districts have yet to fully feel the 2007-2008 housing bubble collapse, Hess said. He said the 40 states' collective budget shortfalls of $140 billion will make America's 14,000 school districts vulnerable for the next five years.
"The cuts have been far less draconian than advertised. States are looking at massive shortfalls, like in California, but to date, the most we've done is to kick the can down the road," Hess said.
"I think not only has the worst of it not yet hit, but I think K-12 schooling is looking at a four or five bleak years ahead, and thus far the superintendents and school boards have not done much to prepare the districts for the challenge," Hess said.
Aid Cuts Have Texas Schools Scrambling2011-02-14
Article written by James C. McKinley for the New York Times
HUTTO, Tex. — The school superintendent in this rural town outside the state capital has taken steps to trademark the district’s oddly un-Texan school mascot — the Hutto Hippo — in a frantic effort to raise cash. He is also planning to put advertisements on school buses and to let retailers have space on the school Web site.
“I’m doing some weird stuff in the district because we are low on money,” said the superintendent, Douglas Killian, sitting in an office full of Hippo figurines.
He added, “We hope to make our hippo as recognizable as Mickey Mouse.” (The mascot was adopted shortly after a hippopotamus escaped from a circus train in 1915 and took up temporary residence in a local creek.)
But the money expected from the sale of “Hustling Hippos” merchandise would be peanuts compared with the hole expected to open up in the district’s budget, as the Legislature moves to slash about $4.8 billion in state aid to schools over two years to close a budget gap.
So Mr. Killian and the beleaguered school board have agreed to shut down a recently built grade school and to cut a 10th of the staff, among them a principal, 2 assistant principals, 4 librarians and 38 teachers. That round of staff cuts is a just first step, he says, and layoffs will follow if the budget bills proposed in the Legislature are enacted without changes.
All across Texas, school superintendents are bracing for the largest cuts to public education since World War II, and the state is not alone. Schools across the country are in trouble as billions in emergency stimulus grants from the federal government have run out, and state and federal lawmakers have interpreted the victory of fiscal hawks in November’s midterm elections to mean that tax increases are out of the question.
Nowhere has that political trend been more potent than in Texas, where Republicans who ran on a promise to never raise taxes not only retained every statewide office, but also added to their majorities in both houses of the Legislature.
Gov. Rick Perry, easily re-elected in November, made it clear in his annual speech to lawmakers last week that he regarded raising revenue for schools as out of the question, saying Texas families “sent a pretty clear message with their November votes.” He has also refused to consider using $9.4 billion in a reserve fund to bail out the schools.
“They want government to be even leaner and more efficient,” Mr. Perry said, “and they want us to balance the budget without raising taxes on families and employers.”
To balance the budget with cuts alone, the governor and Republican leaders in the Legislature have put forth bills that would reduce the state’s public school budget by at least 13 percent — nearly $3.5 billion a year — and would provide no new money to schools for about 85,000 new students that arrive in Texas every year. School administrators predict that as many as 100,000 school employees would have to be laid off to absorb the cuts.
Not only are the proposed cuts to school aid draconian, but in addition the Legislature in 2006 put strict limits on how much districts can raise local property taxes. That means local school boards find themselves trapped amid rising enrollment, double-digit drops in state aid and frozen local taxes.
Many school administrators attribute the current budget crisis to an overhaul of the school finance system five years ago, which Mr. Perry and Republican leaders pushed through in response to popular anger over high property taxes. The Legislature put a cap on property taxes for schools and promised to make up the difference with a new business tax. But that tax has never produced enough revenue to make the districts’ budgets whole.
The chronic shortfall in money for schools was papered over in the last two-year budget passed in 2009. Mr. Perry and Republican leaders in the Legislature used about $3.3 billion in federal aid under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to plug the hole. That aid has disappeared this year.
“We had a problem before the shortfall ever occurred,” said John M. Folks, the superintendent of Northside Independent School District in San Antonio. “Now we have put this shortfall on top of an already horrible funding situation.”
Mr. Folks said the proposed budget bills would require him to cut about a sixth of his budget, and he sees see no way to avoid laying off teachers and letting classes become larger.
That view was echoed by administrators in districts large and small, from tiny rural districts with one high school and a six-man football team to the giant urban districts in Houston and Dallas.
In Austin, school administrators on Friday recommended in a letter to the school board that 1,000 jobs — roughly 8 percent of the work force — be cut to balance the budget, while in Dallas officials on Thursday proposed cutting about 4,000 positions.
Terry Grier, the superintendent in Houston, said the city stood to lose 15 percent to 20 percent of its total budget. The district could still raise the local property tax rate a few cents and stay under the state-imposed cap, but it would produce nowhere near enough to cover the loss of state money, Mr. Grier said. One way to cushion the blow, he said, would be to lift state rules on class size and to let administrators single out unproductive teachers for layoffs, regardless of their seniority. “Let us get out from under some of these state mandates,” he said.
Even relatively wealthy suburban districts are in trouble. Officials in the Clear Creek Independent School District south of Houston, which serves the communities around NASA, estimate they would have to cut about 975 jobs — about a fifth of the work force. Like most other administrators, Superintendent Greg Smith is urging the Legislature to tap into the Rainy Day Fund instead of making the cuts. “It’s not raining,” he said. “It’s pouring.”
On Thursday night in Hutto, two school board members wept as they read the motion to close Veterans’ Hill Elementary School, a sleek building that opened in 2008 amid wheat fields and horse paddocks.
“In the 10 years I’ve been on this board, this is the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make,” said Sheila Knapp, the board’s vice president. “I’m very angry with the Legislature for putting us in this position and affecting our kids this way.”
Michele Bischoffberger, the principal at Veterans’ Hill, said the school was built just before the economic downturn, when Hutto was growing rapidly as developers built suburbs for workers at high-tech companies around Austin.
“All this land out here was supposed to be houses, but when the crash came, that didn’t happen,” Ms. Bischoffberger said, gesturing at nearby fields.
She recounted wistfully how she helped design the school, insisting on elements like a large gymnasium and a computer lab. “It’s your baby,” she said. “Being a new principal, this is where you get to make your dreams come true. It’s going to be hard to walk away.”
The 475 children at the school will be divided among the district’s other four elementary schools, and the entire fifth grade will be moved to the two middle schools to make room. The shuttered school — with its library, computer lab and state-of-the-art classrooms — will be mothballed or rented out to a community college, Ms. Bischoffberger said.
Plans to start a garden to be used as an outdoor classroom this spring have been scotched, killing a long-held dream for Vanessa Henson, a kindergarten teacher who had raised money from local businesses for the project.
“I don’t know about the politics,” Ms. Henson said, breaking into tears. “I just know something went awry.”
Some young teachers and support staff members said they were uneasy, since it was unclear if they would have jobs in September. Sharon Case, the school librarian, is among those whose job is on the line. She has two children in college and works nights as a cashier at Wal-Mart.
“I’m just doing a lot of praying and depending on God to know where I’m supposed to be,” Ms. Case said.
Pennsylvania State Schools Re-Think Fees2010-12-28
Article written by Clare Ansberry for the Wall Street Journal (online.wsj.com)
Public universities across the U.S. are arguing for freedom to reap more revenue and create more efficiencies to offset dwindling state dollars.
One way, they say, is to raise tuition. At California University of Pennsylvania, a 158-year-old state school serving 9,400 students, enrollment is rising for all but the poorest students, which, in part, has led to a novel idea: replace the "low tuition for all" policy with a market-rate policy.
University officials say students from wealthier families could afford to pay more than the average $5,804 annual tuition at the state's 14 universities. Fresh revenue from the higher tuition, they say, could be used to offer more scholarships to help the neediest students.
Angelo Armenti, president of California University of Pennsylvania, is pressing for freedom to set market-based tuition at state-funded schools.
At the university, which is located in the northern tip of Appalachia and has long served aspiring children of steelworkers and coal miners, enrollment among students whose families earn less than $40,000 a year is falling fast as some are unable to afford it. Enrollment for students from families earning more than $100,000 has risen nearly fivefold over a decade as families increasingly opt for public schools as their reputations improve.
"We are already failing the neediest students who attend our universities," California University President Angelo Armenti told trustees of the 14 state-controlled universities, who are seeing similar patterns, at a conference this fall. "Market rates are the norm in every successful enterprise and should be adopted by higher education if it is to serve all the citizens of the commonwealth."
The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, which governs the schools and sets their tuition, declined to comment on his suggestion.
Similar discussions are being held around the country.
Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council on Education, a Washington, D.C.-based group that represents university executives, said in many cases schools were getting modest amounts of state funding but were subjected to a lot of oversight and regulation over tuition, hiring, procurement and capital projects. Regulations, such as purchasing only through state vendors, limit their ability to operate efficiently and get better prices, public universities say.
The rational, but politically complex solution, Mr. Hartle said, would be to let the schools operate more like private, independent units, a change that in some states requires legislative approval. "But state legislations and bureaucracies rarely given up anything without a struggle," he said.
That may be changing, as states face huge deficits and the loss of federal stimulus money. In 2009, state appropriations per full-time student averaged 12% lower than a decade earlier after adjusting for inflation, according to the State Higher Education Executive Officers.
"I'm open to anything," said Rep. James R. Roebuck, a Democrat who is chairman of Pennsylvania's House Education Committee. Pennsylvania ranked 44th among states in terms of per-capita support for higher education, according to an annual survey done by Illinois State University and its Center for the Study of Education Policy.
With state support declining-and likely to continue doing so in the current economy-Mr. Roebuck said, "colleges and universities need to find different ways to raise money and be more aggressive."
Many state officials are concerned about granting public universities more discretion, especially over tuition, because they fear schools might raise prices beyond the reach of struggling middle- and lower-income families-some of the very people that the systems were established to serve. "If the cost goes up, how to we keep it affordable and accessible?" Mr. Roebuck said.
Public-university presidents say they have ramped up private fund raising to help needier students and have also cut majors and staff to keep costs down. But they say the savings and funds raised aren't close to making up for the drop in state appropriations.
Getting donors to designate dollars for need-based scholarships, as opposed to those based on merit or for certain departments such as engineering, is tough, universities say.
"Donors want to have an impact that comes when you give to get a better student. They're not interested in building the base," said Alan Merten, president of George Mason University in Virginia.
Mr. Merten said Virginia's state funding per student has fallen 30% since 2000, and given tight budgets, he didn't expect that funding to be restored.
"If the state can't send me money, send more freedom," said Mr. Merten.
He said the state had loosened some purchasing oversight, enabling him to cut costs, but that more was needed.
Virginia's public universities are constitutionally allowed to set their own tuition, but if they exceed suggested limits, their allocation can be cut, he said, adding, "so you are really not allowed to set tuition."
In Wisconsin, public universities are seeking freedom from the state to set tuition, as well as to manage construction projects, purchase equipment and hire staff.
They note that the state funds less than 25% of their operating budget and is more like a minority shareholder. Many new buildings are financed with private dollars and shouldn't have to go through state bidding procedures that often delay the project and are more expensive, university officials maintain.
"Hold us accountable to goals. Don't tell us we have to buy 300 No. 2 pencils with a certain type of eraser," said Kevin Reilly, president of the University of Wisconsin System, which serves more than 178,000 students.
Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said public universities would prefer not to raise tuition. Rather, they want freedom from state rules over such things as selling property, for example, to gain efficiency. "Many states will tell you that they do not have nearly the freedom to act expeditiously," he said. "Universities have said give us more flexibility, especially in difficult times."
Pennsylvania already has a sort of hybrid, public-private arrangement for four of its universities: Penn State, Temple and Lincoln Universities and the University of Pittsburgh.
Temple, Lincoln and the University of Pittsburgh had all been private universities but ran into budget issues in the 1960s and 1970s. Concerned about the loss of those universities, lawmakers created a special "state-related" category, allowing them to receive significant state funding, although not as much as state-controlled schools; to set their own tuition; and to have an independent board of trustees, with some state appointees.
"This was an innovative way to help the major universities of the state without frankly unreasonably interfering with the affairs of those institutions," said Robert Hill, Vice Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh.
In exchange for state support, he said, was the commitment to keep tuition low for Pennsylvania students. Out of state residents pay roughly double the in-state tuition.
The downside to such flexibility is that their funding is non-preferred, which makes them more vulnerable to budget cuts. Funding for the state controlled institutions comes out of the general fund. "When the state looks for places to cut or save money, they look to the non-preferred," said Lisa Powers, director of public information at Penn State University.
Idaho Schools in Trouble?2010-12-25
Article written by Jessie L. Bonner for the Daily Reporter (www.greenfieldreporter.com)
In Idaho Falls, businesses were asked to pay for field trips because the local school district couldn't afford to send students on educational excursions to the museum or zoo.
At a Boise elementary school, the parent-teacher organization asked members to donate ink cartridges, Band-Aids, and tissues, no longer raising money for fun extras but basic supplies.
A principal in the eastern Idaho town of Ammon kissed a pig, dyed his hair, wore a dress, and rolled in Jell-O as a reward to students for bringing in money through various fundraisers.
These are just some of the lengths to which Idaho's public schools have gone while patching holes in their education budgets, which were reduced by a total of $128 million this year. And a budget plan submitted by the state Department of Education indicates the next fiscal year may bring more of the same.
But public schools chief Tom Luna stresses the budget plan he drafted for next year likely will change in the coming months. It proposes a stark scenario for public schools: another year with $128 million less.
“The fallout of decisions made in the 2011 Idaho Legislature, which convenes in January, will likely vary from school district to school district,” said Luna, who was elected to another four-year term in November.
"The budget that I propose to the Legislature, I'm sure it's going to look different than what we presented in September," Luna said. "For the last four years, that's been the case."
Luna has already cautioned lawmakers he'll need $60 million in new money to avoid more cuts to a budget that has already been reduced by 7.5 percent this year. His budget plan for next fiscal year, which starts in July, does not include the extra $22 million that schools got from the state land endowment reserve this year.
There's also none of the one-time federal stimulus money that helped prop up previous school budgets.
Luna wants $36 million to replace the temporary funding and another $24 million to cover an estimated 3,500 new students expected to enter the K-12 public school system next year. Altogether, $60 million in new money is needed just to keep per-student spending at current levels, Luna said.
When it comes to how schools will weather the next fiscal year, a key factor will be how they used the $51 million the federal government sent Idaho earlier this year to preserve teaching jobs, Luna said.
"If they saved some or all of it, obviously it's going to be easier for them to get through the next year," Luna said. "But for those districts that spent most or all of it, it's going to be a different story."
The cuts have already made a sizable dent in education programs, according to some teachers and parents.
At Idaho's largest school district in Meridian, Christy Blaser's son lost his science labs and the second-grade class could no longer afford to pass out phonic learning sets, she said.
"If the funds are cut so much, you really start to wonder, are they going to be able to keep providing a quality education for our children?" asked Blaser.
The parent-teacher organization used to raise money for extras, like balls for physical education classes. But the group is increasingly leaning on its members to help pay for things like paper, and members have already put money aside to help out during the next school year, Blaser said.
"You just see teachers being stretched too thin," Blaser said. "You want them to be focused on the curriculum instead of worrying about all the extras."
L.A. Schools to Allow Corporate Partnerships2010-12-15
Article written by Deborah Crowe for the Los Angeles Business Journal (www.labusinessjournal.com)
The Los Angeles Unified School District Board has approved a policy authorizing Superintendent Ramon Cortines to enter into corporate sponsorships in an effort to generate revenues for the districts cash-starved extra-curricular programs such as athletics, arts and music.
Under the policy approved Tuesday, the superintendent will be able to sign tentative agreements with sponsors who want to give up to $500,000 without first going to the school board for approval. The agreements would then go to the board for ratification. Any potential partnerships valued at $500,000 or greater must go to the board before being signed.
The district in the past has prohibited such corporate sponsorships.
“This new and creative approach in raising revenue for the general fund is good for the entire district,” Cortines said in a statement. “These programs would be used to support programs that directly serve students as well as create new sources of revenue for the district.”
Corporate donors would be able establish a corporate brand identity through signs but not engage in product promotion or sales. They would be allowed limited signage and other marketing or corporate branding at athletic facilities, music festivals, or sports tournaments. The new policy includes a ban on support from alcohol and tobacco companies, fast food firms, high-calorie products and high sugar foods. In addition, sponsors would not be allowed to handpick schools, such as preferring campuses in more affluent areas instead of poorer neighborhoods.
Melissa Infusino, the district’s director of partnerships, said there are several potential sponsorship deals already in the pipeline, mostly sports-related that can now proceed.
The new policy is similar to the district’s recent “Save Our Sports” campaign, which raised $1.5 million to help pay stipends to coaches.
SUNY Stony Brook Budget Cuts Have Art Department Struggling to Make Ends Meet2010-12-06
Article written by Jennifer Long for The Statesman (www.sbstatesman.com)
With more possible cuts on the horizon, state universities are trying to figure out how to do more with less. But at Stony Brook, one of the smallest departments in the College of Arts and Sciences is finding that hard to do.
The Art Department, which has only 16 full-time professors, eight for studio art and eight for art history, says it doesn’t know what else it can eliminate. Already, numerous classes (including sections of Introduction to Drawing and concentrations including a form of printmaking known as lithography) have been cut. Adjunct professors are not getting re-hired, causing classes sizes to increase and making the ability to get into classes harder.
“Professors have been telling us that if we want to sign up for classes we have to talk to the undergraduate director and petition to get in,” said studio art and art history senior Sophia Dang. “We have to basically fight to get in.”
Over the past year, state universities in New York have endured multiple rounds of budget cuts. Some schools, including SUNY Geneseo and Albany, have been forced to make significant cuts to some of their departments, in some occasions eliminating programs completely.
Stony Brook’s budget has already been slashed $62 million over the past three years, and with New York’s budget deficit expected to equal $9.2 billion next year, many fear that more cuts to education are on the way.
“Those of us who have been here awhile know that it has been painful, but it’s never been this painful – and right now we still don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Mark Macciulaitis, Stony Brook’s Director of Budget and Analysis.
For the Art Department, a smaller budget means things have to go. For example, adjunct professor Lorena Salcedo-Watson, who is a master printmaker in the technique of Lithography, was not supposed to be rehired for this semester. In order to keep Salcedo-Watson on staff, students worked together to organize bake sales as well as artwork and t-shirt sales to raise the amount needed to pay an adjunct professor’s $4,000 salary.
Students were successful last year, and Salcedo-Watson was rehired for the Fall 2010 semester. But as the budget has not gotten any better, Salcedo-Watson seems to be on the chopping block again, and the two Lithography classes she taught are not being offered next semester.
“To have that cut, I felt like I was losing out on something that I wanted to work harder in and wanted to grow more in and learn more about; there is so much to learn that you can’t by just doing two, three, or four projects in one semester,” said Dang, who helped organize print sales for the fundraiser. “It was something that I wanted to continue experimenting with and it just felt like something was being taken away from me.”
Some art students say they are planning to try and fundraise again to keep Salcedo-Watson teaching Lithography for next semester, but it appears to be a temporary fix to what seems like an almost permanent problem. The chair of the art department, Tony Phillips, says cutting different concentrations may be what has to happen. Right now, the Art department’s $2 million budget is almost entirely spent on the salary of tenured professors. That means there is no extra money to buy supplies, equipment or even for rehiring adjuncts.
“You have a choice between spreading it very thin, or just saying we can’t do that,” said Phillips. “For example, we used to have courses in classical architecture, things like that. We just don’t anymore, we just can’t.”
Even Phillips’ appointment to the chair of the department is a sign of the financial struggle. Phillips, a physicist from Stony Brook’s Math department, was appointed to the chair by College of Arts and Sciences Dean Nancy Squires. One of the reasons for this move was because no one else in the Art department could be spared from teaching.
With the possible cutting of different concentrations in the arts, Phillips says that both students and faculty are scared. With the cutting of humanities programs at Geneseo and Albany, many are wondering if that could happen at Stony Brook.
“You look at the newspaper and you see what’s happening at one of our sister campuses, part of SUNY,” Phillips said, “but I think we’re better than that.”
So far, Provost Eric Kaler says that there are no plans as of yet to eliminate any programs. He even went as far to release a statement saying that “Rumors of the Art departments demise are wrong. There are many conversations going on around campus about how we can organize ourselves more efficiently, but there are no plans to close the Art department or suspend any of its programs.”
But there’s still no clear cut way to deal with the financial issues the university is facing. The Art department is getting down to the bare bones of their budget and already has a sizable deficit that it owes the College of Arts and Sciences. With the University’s budget projected to be cut again next year, budget director Maccialatius says some disciplines may just not survive.
“The question is whether it is better to cut everyone equally, and have everyone wind up getting worse, or identify some specific areas where there are some students here but a cut will lessen the impact for the other 95% of the students out there,” Maccialatius said.
Bowling: A Great Fundraiser2010-11-28
Article written as a blog on www.dailyrecord.com
Susan Helfrich, who manages the day desk at Boonton Lanes, informed me of her recent experience combining bowling with fundraising. Her son's school needed money for their soccer program. More and more schools are cutting programs such as sports and the arts with forced budget cuts.
Here is Susan's story: "I arranged and hosted a Rock and Bowl-a-thon on November 14 (at Boonton Lanes). This evolved from a Hopatcong High School soccer coach and parent meeting. We wanted to raise money for uniforms, warm-up suits and new water bottles. How pathetic that most of the team's water bottles had holes in them.
"I never thought I would see the day when it came down to paying to play a high school sport. In the beginning of this soccer season I heard that some parents had to buy pieces of uniforms because there was a shortage. My son has been a varsity soccer player since his freshman year and now he is a junior. The team had to give preference to seniors, then juniors, and so on. So my son got a warm-up jacket with a broken zipper that I paid to have replaced.
"As a result of governor-elect Chris Christie's budget cuts, we almost didn't even have a soccer program this year. Many programs were abandoned because of big budget cuts.
"But the new soccer coach, Brian Carr, was motivated. He urged the team to work for what they needed. There were no options. Everyone pulled together to make successful fundraisers. In addition to bowling, we hosted a canning event around town, then a car wash, then Rock and Bowl-a-thon.
"For the bowling, the deal was that $15, participants got a two-hour lane rental, shoes, pizza and pitchers of soda. Laser lights and music added to the fun. We filled 20 lanes and many of my customers supported the event. I have to credit so many people for getting involved, namely Sarah the manager of our lanes Pizza Hut, former lanes manager Mike Dunn, and our current manager, Craig Born. We raised about $900 for what we needed. The players have their new warm-up suits now, paid for in full. Now I know what it's like to run an event such as others have done at Boonton Lanes."
This reminded me of how bowling continues to play an integral part in massive fundraisers such as the Jerry Lewis Muscular Dystrophy telethon and the Susan G. Komen Fund for Breast Cancer. This is in addition to local events for local needs as well. Bowling has provided an inexpensive way to raise money with much more fun than simple raffles. It can be expanded to include low and high game pots, as long as they are based on bowling performance. Millions of dollars have been raised over the years. The best part is that your bowling center handles most of the work in this venue that sells itself. Congratulations to the Hopatcong High School soccer team, and may your victories be many!
The "eHow" series on the web has a page with tips on running a bowling fundraiser at http://www.ehow.com/way5263237bowling-fundraiser-ideas.html. How can you go wrong with something that's fun, easy, and inexpensive to run or enjoy as a participant?
The College Conversation: Club sports another way to keep playing2010-07-31
Article written by Lisa McLaughlin at www.dailypilot.com
There are athletes who've been playing ball, swimming laps, slamming, digging, paddling and attacking for years. As they enter high school, they dream of playing in college or even going pro.
But the reality is that most athletes won't make the cut past high school. They'll begin to see the obvious differences between their height, weight and strength, and that of their peers, and become fully aware that their chances of being recruited are dramatically shrinking.
While they are feeling dismayed about their ability to play in college, more confusion is caused by the lack of honest answers from their high school's coaching staff. It's only on that rare occasion that clients tell me about their coaches having advised them honestly about their chances of recruitment. Instead of blowing smoke, coaches should at least help athletes explore the vast options available in college, where athletes can continue playing their sports outside of the realm of the NCAA.
Club sports and those in the National Intramural Recreational Sports Assn. (NIRSA) offer the opportunity for your child to play competitively against other colleges. And these teams are nothing like your high school's intramural program. They train hard and travel miles to compete against other colleges in their league.
Some club teams are even better than low-level NCAA varsity programs. The NIRSA offers competitive intercollegiate athletics in basketball, tennis, volleyball, flag football, golf and soccer. The main requirements for participation include being enrolled part-time and no involvement on the school's varsity team. The Collegiate Water Polo Assn. offers something similar, as do other sports.
But, let's say your child doesn't want to maintain any level of competition. I imagine, on some level, that he or she still wants to continue participating in his or her sport. You've got to help them explore the other recreational opportunities on college campuses. If he or she swims, make sure the college has a pool. Or encourage participation in alternative sports like rugby, ultimate Frisbee, or even inner tube water polo.
The truth is most high school athletes will never get the chance to play at the NCAA level, regardless of the division. Recent data show that about 3% of male basketball players go on to play NCAA hoops.
There are more than 30,000 high school water polo players and less than 2,000 playing in the NCAA.
Let's not keep this a secret to our young athletes. Let's help them remember the main reasons behind their love of sport.
It feels good to sweat. And it does a body good to stay in shape.
The rush of adrenaline during competition is invigorating. Whether they win or lose, being exposed to competition is good for them socially.
The camaraderie is downright fun and playing on a school team promotes a consistent connection and feeling of sisterhood or brotherhood. Even a tough loss brings a team closer together.
The endorphins aren't so bad either. They're a necessary chemical for relieving the stress of a tough class or bad breakup. What a great boost to keep your kid feeling good when something gets them down.
I love seeing students' faces light up when they hear they have options. It's nice to know they can still play in college — it just might look a little different.