Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Despite FHSAA's reversal, high school schedules still could be cut

WESLEY CHAPEL — When the state's prep sports governing body voted Wednesday to rescind a previous decision to reduce schedules in most sports, the initial response from local coaches was celebratory.

But the ensuing reaction could be more subdued.

Locally, schedules still could be reduced. Coaching supplements could be further trimmed. And while unlikely, some sports could be abolished.

Nothing is out of the realm of possibility. There is, after all, still a budget crisis.

Prompted by a gender equity lawsuit, the Florida High School Athletic Association voted Wednesday to restore the maximum number of regular-season contests to 25 for most team sports.

The original decision to trim schedules (in all sanctioned sports except football) was a uniform effort to offset Florida's budget woes.

Now the onus is upon individual school districts to find ways to trim athletic budgets.

"It's important for folks to know," Pasco County athletic director Phil Bell said, "that those (25 games) are maximums."

Bell, who presided over a December brainstorming session with county principals and athletic directors on cost-cutting ideas, said he has spoken with school district officials about Thursday's decision.

The ultimate decision on what athletic cuts — if any — must be made will rest with superintendent Heather Fiorentino and her staff, Bell said. At that December get-together, the ADs and principals voted to suggest abolishing spring football, a proposal that never formally passed.

Now that idea might be revisited.

"There have been some good points that some folks have made in that we're looking at all sorts of ways to save dollars," Bell said. "We've done some of that, and we'll have to relook."

Currently, Bell said, the school district finances each school's coaching supplements and helps cover other expenses such as transportation and officials. The schools foot the bill for remaining costs, ideally allowing them to schedule as many contests — or as many as allowed by the FHSAA — as they can afford.

If, say, the money allotted to each school is reduced, county-wide athletic programs would face a greater financial burden.

"I think it's up to us to manage our programs like we should," Pasco High athletic director Jim Ward said.

"If your team wants to go to Flagler (Palm Coast) High School to play a game, no, that should be on that team or its booster club or whatever to pay for. I'm hoping we'll be smart enough to play games we need to play. … You've got to play your rivalries that are going to draw your gates home and away that will make money for both schools."

In Hernando County, where the school district also helps finance its athletic programs, the future also is unclear. Two ADs, Hernando's John Palmer and Nature Coast's Travis Lamle, said Wednesday's FHSAA vote should allow them to schedule more contests across the board than originally planned.

But the cuts will have to originate from somewhere. And they'll have to be Title IX compliant.

"There will be 67 districts making 67 different decisions on how they will support athletics," FHSAA board member Tim Wilder said Wednesday. "Some will cut games on their own, and other districts will be able to take advantage.

"To me, that's inequality. It's a shame it's come to this."

Despite FHSAA's reversal, high school schedules still could be cut 07/16/09 [Last modified: Thursday, July 16, 2009 9:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. For starters: Rays at Twins, looking for another with Odorizzi starting

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:45: Cash said Robertson was taking better swings Friday and so he wanted to move him up today, liking the idea of having three straight right-handers vs. a LHP they don't know much about. ... Souza was still smiling this morning about his failed dive attempt last night, and the reaction it got. .. The …

  2. Why the Lightning would consider trading Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — This summer, the Lightning could trade one of its most dynamic young players ever.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) celebrates with his team on the bench after beating Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) to score his second goal of the period and to tie the score at 4 to 4 during second period action at the Amalie Arena in Tampa Monday evening (03/27/17).
  3. Why the Lightning should keep Jonathan Drouin

    Lightning Strikes

    Keep him.

    Jonathan Drouin is live bait. The Lightning is ready to run the hook through him and cast him out there again. Drouin has enough talent for the Lightning to meet some defensive needs in a deal.

    Keep him.

    Lightning wing Jonathan Drouin celebrates after beating Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj during the first period of Tuesday's win in Tampa. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  4. This Tampa Bay Lightning wing rides the newest wave of fan interaction

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There are photos of Lightning fan Shaun Egger as a toddler at center ice at the then-Thunderome, aka Tropicana Field. He's played in the Lightning's high school hockey league for Palm Harbor University. But his closest personal encounter with players had been waving through a crowd after a training camp …

    Tampa Bay Lightning player J.T. Brown wears his anti UV glasses as he talks over the headset with a hockey fan while they play against each other on line in an XBOX NHL video game in Brown's game room at his home in south Tampa. The fan chose to be the Washington Capitals and Brown, of course, was the Tampa Bay Lightning. Brown interacts with fans through video game systems as he streams the games live on Twitch with plans for the proceeds to go to charity.
  5. ‘Biggest fight' behind her, Petra Kvitova returns ahead of schedule

    Tennis

    PARIS — Five months after a home invader's knife sliced into her left hand, Petra Kvitova will return to competitive tennis at the French Open, a last-minute decision to make her comeback earlier than expected.

    Petra Kvitova adjusts her hair during a news conference at Roland Garros Stadium, where she will make her tennis return at the French Open. Kvitova's left hand was badly injured by a knife-wielding intruder in December; she has recovered ahead of schedule. [Associated Press]