Reporting by Liara Aber and Graham O’Gorman
Champaign Central High School is home to many athletic programs. Almost every sport has its own facility, its own equipment, and its own uniforms. The quality of each of these factors varies from sport to sport. The funding process of Champaign Central athletic programs has always been a mystery to the student body and to many coaches. This process has brought up many questions. This article is here to answer some of those questions.
Many students are disappointed with the funding of their sport. We asked Julia Wilson, a junior who swims at Central, if she thinks her sport gets adequate funding.
“No,” Julia replied, “we practice in a run down pool that isn’t properly taken care of, and there are safety concerns with it, and we don’t have the equipment that other schools in Central Illinois have.”
After receiving this information, we turned to a coach to get their input. Mr. Staab known as coach Stabb to many athletes, is a history teacher and the head baseball coach at Central High School.
When asked whether he receives an adequate amount of money from the school each year, in a recent interview, he replied promptly, “No, they gave me $875 this year, for a budget, and that’s not enough to cover just baseballs that we need for all three programs.” He went on to say, “And in some years, they’ve given me nothing, other years a little more, I think the most I’ve ever gotten is $1200, that’s not enough. I appreciate that, I appreciate the money they give me.”
Clearly, there is not enough money provided by the school to his sport, and many others, to run a successful sport program, but the coaches make do despite this.
Later in the interview, we asked Mr. Staab whether he knows how the money each is divided up, he states, “I don’t know the process to who gets what. I would assume that the AD makes that decision. I don’t know if he, or she now, divvies it up evenly amongst all the programs. I’d like to, maybe, have a little more access to that decision, maybe, to see what they get and what their decisions are as to how they give you that.”
As Mr. Staab stated, coaches are left somewhat in the dark on the decision of how the money the school is given, to fund their sports, is divided up, but access to this decision is not vital for coaches, like Mr. Staab. Rather, it would be an added bonus.
Mrs. Stillman, the Athletic Director at Central High School, shared her insight on the process of school funding for sports.
She says, “They’re funded by, typically, how many students, and the amount of equipment. Football is always going to be more because we have to pay to have all the helmets and shoulder pads, and all that, reconditioned every year, so they’re obviously going to have a bigger budget, but for the most part they’re equal. And, if there’s a boy’s sport and a girl’s sport they get the exact same amount, so girl’s basketball gets the exact same amount as the boy’s basketball.”
So, despite what some people may think, even though it isn’t always a ton of money, the sports teams are funded fairly, and the school holds tight to one main goal; every student at Central should have a chance to play their sport.
At the end of our interview with Mrs. Stilman, she states, “Unit 4 does not charge a participation fee. And we will try to keep that like that for as long as we possibly can. One of the problems you run into when paying a participation fee is you have kids that can’t afford that can’t afford to pay a participation fee. So then you’ve taken high school sports and you’ve made them, in my opinion, into club sports. Because if I can’t afford to pay, I don’t get to play, and that’s not fair.”