Pay-to-play is no more for the Dukes after the Wellington school board voted June 14 to do away with the measure.
“All of us on the board feel that paying to play does limit many students to participating in only one sport,” said schools superintendent Dennis Mock. “For some parents, especially those with multiple children, paying that $150 is quite expensive. We want to look at it as far as seeing if this makes it so we have 50 football players instead of 30. Instead of 10 golfers will we go to 20?”
Did cutting roughly $2.5 million and multiple teaching jobs from the district’s budget in 2015 open the door for pay-to-play to be removed? Mock said it was not a factor.
“I don’t believe so,” he said. “Most of the cuts when you look back at them had to do with the drop in enrollment. The district has gone from 1,50o to just under 1,200 students. There was definitely some overstaffing that was taking place.”
Mock also said sports that have been in jeopardy in the district such as track would not be in harm’s way again, despite the elimination of pay-to-play.
According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Ohio High School Athletic Association, 46 percent of 471 schools surveyed employ pay-to-play rules for their students. The Central District had the most pay-to-play schools with 63 percent, while the East District had the least at 31 percent.
The OHSAA’s Northeast district, where Wellington is located, had the highest average pay-to-play fees at $153. The Central district was second at $143, followed by the Southwest ($141), East ($98), Northwest ($93), and Southeast ($66) districts, according to the same survey.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Wellington superintendent Dennis Mock says 2015’s budget cuts did not factor into the decision to do away with pay-to-play for Dukes sports teams.