Fewer Michigan high schools using pay-to-play

July 30, 2015 / Athletic AdministrationCoaching
A recent survey by the Michigan High School Athletic Association shows that fewer of the state’s high schools are using pay-to-play.

MHSAAAccording to the survey, 51.5 percent of member schools indicated that they assessed fees for the 2014-15 school year. That’s down 5 percent from the previous year, and although more than 50 percent of schools have required pay-to-play over the last five years, it’s the lowest total since 2011-12.

From MLive.com:

Any decrease in the number of schools charging student-athletes is welcomed by MHSAA executive director Jack Roberts, a longtime opponent of pay-to-play.

“My hope is that school superintendents, their boards of education and business officials have recognized that pay-for-play does more harm than good, that it costs them more in students enrolling than they ever raise in the fees,” Roberts told MLive on Wednesday. “That’s what I hope this means, that the realization is coming that in this era of marketing our district against all the others, we should be free and we should be comprehensive – more sports, including more levels of sports, and free of cost.

“If I were working at the local level, I would do everything in my power to not have a barrier of fees to play our sports.”

Pay-to-play is viewed as a “necessary evil” by most sports programs, as athletic directors were forced to find additional revenue streams as budgets were cut. Now that budgets are stabilizing — and in some cases, rebounding — programs are able to alleviate some of the financial burden on their student-athletes.

Sixty-nine percent of MHSAA’s member schools responded to the survey, its highest response rate since 2010-11. MLive.com reported that the association has surveyed schools on pay-to-play since 2003-04, when just 24 percent of schools indicated they required fees.

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