Wednesday, June 20, 2018
Sports

Pasco budget may slice into schedules and staff, but not programs

With the recent budget crunch, the Pasco County School Board has no plans to eliminate athletic programs, but reductions in contests and coaching cuts are on the table.

Golf and cross country face the greatest change with proposals to reduce each sport by two matches/meets and to eliminate one coaching job, leaving one paid coach to oversee both boys and girls teams. The proposed athletic budget cuts are 5 percent, or roughly $76,000.

Other varsity sports facing a two-contest reduction are swimming, track and weightlifting. Major varsity sports such as football, basketball, baseball and softball were not mentioned.

Junior varsity sports such as basketball, volleyball and wrestling could lose as many as four contests, while JV soccer, baseball, softball and wrestling could each lose two contests. Officials also are considering eliminating diving coaches for swimming.

The proposed cuts will be hashed out over the next few weeks with the next meeting likely in June.

There were still plenty of questions floating around Wednesday morning as coaches searched for clarification as to what constituted a contest or if they could make up the difference financially through independent revenue streams such as booster clubs.

School board chairwoman Kathryn Starkey made it clear she hoped other sources of revenue would help rescue athletics.

"I know a number of the schools have let booster clubs go by the wayside," Starkey said. "I think at a time like this if we want meaningful athletics, the public should step up."

Assistant superintendent Jim Davis also suggested an increase in entry fees to athletic events.

Hudson swim coach Julie Heise said she understands the financial hardships the county faces. She lost her teaching job in 1979 in Ohio when a chunk of the population migrated away from the Pennsylvania-Ohio border region after the steel mills closed.

"I was just starting my career and I was single," Heise said. "I didn't understand it then as much as I understand it now."

Athletics, at least those away from the varsity level, have been pinched in the past. Pasco County, for example, eliminated its high school freshmen-only teams and combined separate seventh and eighth-grade teams at the middle school level five years ago in the budgetary fallout from the class size amendment. It restored seventh-grade teams two years ago.

In Hernando County, schools do not anticipate a big financial hit from the state's budget woes. Schools will receive the same amount of money from the school district as last year, mainly for transportation costs.

"They're asking for more," Hernando County School Board finance director Deborah Bruggink said, "but we're not giving anymore."

Times staff writer Jeffrey S. Solochek contributed to this report. Izzy Gould can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 580-5315.

Comments

Sports on TV/radio for Thursday, June 21

TODAYBaseballRed Sox at Twins1 p.m.MLBMets at Rockies (in progress)4 p.m.MLBCubs at Reds7 p.m.MLBBlue Jays at Angels10 p.m.MLBCollege baseball, World SeriesFlorida vs. Texas Tech8 p.m.ESPNUGolfPGA: Traveler’s Championship3:30 p.m.GolfHorsesRoyal Asco...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Report: Bucs QB Jameis Winston bracing for suspension from NFL

Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston could be suspended for up to three games  next season following the league's investigation into allegations he groped a female Uber driver in Arizona in 2016, a Tallahassee radio station reported.Jeff Cameron, a&#...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Lightning’s Victor Hedman wins NHL’s Norris Trophy

Victor Hedman, a relentless part of the Lightning's push to the Eastern Conference final, was honored Wednesday night with the Norris Trophy, given to the NHL's top defenseman."To the Lightning organization, Mr. Jeff Vinik, Steve Yzerman and the coac...
Updated: 30 minutes ago
Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together.

Rays see the results of keeping a good, young core group together.

HOUSTON — The Rays saw a lot on the weeklong trip that ended with Wednesday's game against that Astros, beyond the street hustlers prowling in Times Square and the urban cowboys and girls parading through H-town.There was an impressive debuting...
Updated: 2 hours ago
For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

For starters: Rays at Astros, with a different look

UPDATE, 6:43: Cash said the key to how the pieced the lineup together was the opportunity to give Cron (who is struggling) and Duffy (who is doing well) back to back days off. … Looking ahead to the weekend, the Rays will use RHP Ryne Stanek as...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

Phil Mickelson apologizes four days after hitting moving ball at U.S. Open

NEW YORK — Phil Mickelson has apologized four days after intentionally violating golf rules by hitting a moving ball on the green at the U.S. Open, saying his frustration got the best of him. The apology came Wednesday in a statement released by his ...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox poised to become Tampa Bay’s highest NBA draft pick

Kevin Knox Sr. was watching the NFL draft 24 years ago when the phone rang. Buffalo coach Marv Levy was on the other line."Marv said they were taking me," said Knox Sr., a standout receiver at FSU.Soon after, Knox Sr. saw his name scroll across ESPN'...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Tough questions are mere child’s play for Kevin Knox

Growing up, Kevin Knox II watched videos or listened to motivational tapes during car rides to and from school so he could learn how to expand upon answers in interviews.That was all by design.His father, Kevin Knox Sr., knew about the spotlight as a...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

Lightning announce home opener: Oct. 6 vs. Panthers

The Tampa Bay Lightning will announce their full 2018-19 schedule on Thursday, but the league announced each home opener Wednesday, with Tampa Bay playing host to the Florida Panthers at Amalie Arena on Saturday, Oct. 6.The Lightning will know their ...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

Florida State will host Florida Gators to open this basketball season

For the first time in almost two decades, Florida and Florida State will open the men's basketball season against each other.The Seminoles will host UF on Nov. 6, both programs announced Wednesday morning. FSU has won four in a row in the series."Any...
Updated: 12 hours ago