Sports team budget breakdown: Allocations for sports based on fixed, yet flexible funds

Madeline Fagen, News Editor

In a time when money is increasingly tight and spending is calculated down to the penny, the distribution of funds within schools is of great concern. Spending for sports teams is especially important to the athletes throughout the District.

“Every team thinks it doesn’t get enough funding, but I’m sure none of the individuals who complain actually know how much money is given to each team out of the entire sports budget,” said junior Dylan Sica.

The budget for sports teams is carefully planned based upon fixed required payments and flexible yearly needs of each team.

“In any budget process there’s a number that we work with,” said Athletic Director Ms. Stephanie Joannon.  “The number that is in the athletics department for Schreiber sports teams is a number that we can more than adequately use to take care of all of our teams.”

An athletics budget has many components. Firstly, it pays coaches, which accounts for about 53 percent of the total budget. Next, the budget must serve to outfit the teams and send them out to get cleaned at the end of the season.

“As a former coach in the district, I really do take great pride in how our teams look and how we outfit them,” said Ms. Joannon.

The budget also pays all the fees required for practices and games. This includes providing bus transportation for games, scrimmages, and off-site practices, hiring supervisors and officials required by Nassau County Athletic Association for some teams, allowing certain teams to go to invitational meets and tournaments, and paying the various sums required for BOCES.

“We allow all teams to play the maximum number of games available,” said Ms. Joannon.  “There are some schools that try to save money by not allowing all teams to play all 17 possible games. We also organize scrimmages for teams to practice. We’re in the mindset that if we’re going to run a program, we run it the right way.”

The budget additionally includes funds for a sports awards night and senior banquet at the end of each season in which MVPs, most improved players, and coach’s award recipients are recognized.

Although all teams receive money in the same general categories, funds distributed between sports teams differ.

“It is so obvious that some teams get more funding than others, and it’s truly unfair,” said junior John Gallagher.

Funds vary between sports for many reasons. Some teams, like the cheerleaders, don’t need extra supervision.  Other sports, such as those with varsity and junior varsity leagues, have more than one team.  Teams that play away games need extra supervision, and teams that play more games need more resources. Final variations are a result of yearly needs.

“What does come into play each year is if we need to replace equipment or if we need to buy new uniforms,” said Ms. Joannon.  “Teams get new uniforms every four years mostly because they start looking older or get out of style after about four or five years.   Some schools do it after seven years, some schools have their varsity uniforms after five years give it to the JV, but we don’t do that. So when it comes to buying uniforms that ups the budget for a team.”

The budget is flexible in the sense that it will change based on coaches’ requests.

“At the end of each year, the coaches come to me, sit down, and tell me what uniforms they need; so a team needs new uniforms so I put in a little more money, so another team doesn’t need anything new,” said Ms. Joannon.

Although the district does stress outfitting its teams, the budget only includes equipment or uniforms that are necessary for a new game.

“I am disappointed that everyone on the track team has to purchase their own warm-up suits,” said sophomore Joey Levine.  “The school should at least propose an organized fundraiser.”

Team shirts, sweatshirts, and warm-up uniforms are not included in the budget for teams because they are more personal.

“You hear teams say we need to buy sweats or sweatshirts, but we don’t and can’t because they are not necessary for playing in a game,” said Ms. Joannon. “These extras are things that teams are in fact encouraged to fundraise for.”