Student-athletes must pay to play

WOODSFIELD – The Switzerland of Ohio Board of Education Tuesday night established the fees that student-athletes will have to pay to participate this coming year.

For high school students to participate, they will have to pay $200 per sport while junior high school students will have to pay $100 per sport.

All pay-to-participate fees will have to be paid two weeks before the first official game. The $200 will go back into the general fund, which will in turn go towards the coaches’ salaries.

The student-athletes will have to pay this price for every sport. No sports will be cut.

The school board will pay for the high school coaches’ salaries while the junior high coaches will not be paid.

There will also be no transportation for athletic events. Tickets prices will go up $1 for every sport, while seniors, age 62 and above, will pay student prices. Advance ticket prices will remain the same. The money made at the gate will still go into the athletic fund for the school, not into the general fund.

The board can make amendments to these changes if needed.

These changes will go into effect for the 2013-2014 school year. The school board will put on another levy on the November ballot, which, according to Board President Ron Winkler, if passed will remove all the recent changes.

“I would love to come back here in November and get rid (of these changes),” said Board Member Janelle Comstock. “I guess the hardest part for most people is you do not know what it does take to have to sit down and make these cuts and do this to our kids, we want to see things get better It all hinges on that levy.”

According to Board Treasurer Lance Erlwein, the November levy determines the faith of the sports programs for Switzerland of Ohio Local School District. With the pay-to-participate, the sport programs are barely supporting themselves. If the levy fails again, more cuts will have to be made. At that point, pay-to-participate fees would have to be anywhere from $600 to $700.

“This is not covering all the coaches’ supplementals; it’s not covering the field, park, utilities. There are a lot of expenses that (the pay-to-participate) doesn’t touch,” said Erlwein. “There were so many different opinions from all the different sources (such as coaches, teachers and athletic directors) – everyone had a different opinion on what we should do. There are so many moving parts to a district athletic program that it is hard come up with a true cost.”

Many of the board members also realize that cutting sports will be the beginning of the end for this school district. If the next levy does not pass, the board will exam bigger areas than just sports. The board will then only be able to offer the students the bare minimums.

“If anybody thinks this is easy, I want to tell you it’s not. I think this is the toughest thing I’ve done since I’ve been here,” said Ed Carlton, school board member.

Both Erlwein and Board Member Justin Isaly were upset due to the fact that there have been four meetings held concerning the district’s sport programs, yet there has been no mention of the 40 teachers who will lose their jobs, nor have there been any meetings.

“Nobody knows the true actual number of what it costs to run everything. There are so many moving parts to the equation, you cannot come to a fixed number,” said Isaly.

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