The truth behind athletic spending

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The truth behind athletic spending

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It’s no secret that Faith Lutheran puts a lot of effort into the upkeep of their sports teams, especially the football program. When it comes to the spending for teams, student athletes are left wondering why their sport didn’t make the financial cut.

Since football has become bigger and bigger at Faith, with updated specialty gear every year, smaller sports are starting to feel the shift in funds. Students are open to sharing their opinions on the matter, though the majority either don’t have time to speak with administration or don’t care enough to check if this occurrence is factual or merely a result of population growth at Faith.

Several students and coaches from varying sports were willing to give their input on the ever growing student athlete population here at Faith.

I think that…there is more opportunity for people to participate in sports…While I have been in high school, our team has grown larger because some girls will only do one season which allows spots to be open for the other season,” said Julia Schifini, a Faith Lutheran cheerleader.

“I can’t really speak for the other fall sports, but for soccer we have more people [than] ever. This may be my second year playing, but we seem to keep growing in numbers each year,” said Ava Linares, an FLHS sophomore and soccer player. Sports at Faith seem to be growing with the student population, showing that not only is Faith growing as a community, but as a leader in athletics.

“With the growth of the school, we have certainly experienced growth in the football program. Having about 75 players total in 2013 when I first arrived, we are now almost double in number,” said Vernon Fox, the varsity football coach, “We feel blessed to be able to say we believe it has worked both ways and we have grown together.”

Although the growth may seem good for many, there are still some complaints about the funding behind each sport.

“I do feel that the sports funds are relatively even between sports. I do think that where it might seem unfair to other sports or people is when donations are made to specific teams which allows them to get new clothes, uniforms, or equipment,” said Schifini.

Fundraisers and Donations are a large contributor to Faith’s sports fund every year, usually coming from alumni or parents of children in attendance at Faith.

“Donations and Fundraising income can vary greatly from year to year depending upon the generosity of our donors. Therefore, money from donations / fundraisers is used for the extra things that make our athletic programs go from good, to excellent,” said Linda Tayrien, Faith’s Chief Financial Officer.

Many complaints stem from the popularity of basketball and football, claiming they recieve more money than other sports for their high reputation.

“I can understand the football, volleyball, and basketball teams here…get more funds because from what I’ve seen people have to pay to watch their games, thus bringing in more money. So in a sense it may be evenly funded, but again I don’t know how much they exactly give us,” said Linares.

The majority of discomfort for many sports, is that the spending they receive isn’t clearly stated to be evenly distributed amongst the whole of the sports program.

“It actually makes me upset that the funds aren’t distributed fairly because my teammates and I don’t feel as important compared to football. And it’s not just with funds, there was no announcement made about our first home game, we had to tell people ourselves about it. And the next day at the assembly there was no word about how all of the volleyball teams won” says Alexa Bell, a varsity volleyball athlete.

Many athletes feel that it may be more of a social issue than one motivated by money.“Football has the largest number of participants and naturally needs the most support and resources. We are supported very well by both the athletic administration and loyal members of the Crusader family. Our athletic administration and school does a tremendous job of supporting every sport on campus at their individual levels of need,” says Fox, on the topic of football funding in comparison to other sports.

Linda Tayrien, talked about the misleading aspects of the student athlete’s perspective. In reality, football receives on average 25% of all donations to extra curricular activities. The majority of these donations are used for the benefit of the whole school, not necessarily one sport or another. For instance, the news gymnasium flooring will not only be used by the basketball teams, but for Physical Education classes and school assemblies. Donations are also very volatile every year, mostly coming from parents of the players. With more players, more donors are added to the team. Therefore, bigger teams such as the football team, gain more donations from supporting parents.

Contrary to popular belief, the majority of sports teams are equally balanced with their needs, on and off of campus. Faith sports teams are estimated to continually grow each year, garnering more support within the student body and outside from the school itself. Whether their funding comes from generous donations on behalf of parents and alumni, or Faith’s sports fund, sports will steadily grow in the coming school years.


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