Why is any tax money being spent on football travel? Or on any sports travel for
that matter. Participation in football is not a good predictor of long term
success for the student participant. If a school wants to participate in
inter-school athletics, then the school should come up with the money through
donations, fund raisers and gate receipts to pay for it. But spending education
taxpayer dollars on athletics while our classes are overcrowded and teachers
underpaid is ridiculous. If you want to play football or watch football, then
pay for it. Don't compromise elementary students' education so that
some people can get some temporary athletic glory.
Welcome to the world of small school sports. Here's the deal...the small
rural schools with small budgets have been paying those cost for years. Now the
schools that actually have money are griping?Sorry if I can't
sympathize.Of course, the problem is NOT the 6 classifications, it
is the way the regions were split up. If the state divided up 3AA like it does
1A, with 5-6 teams in one region, and 8 or 9 in another, the travel would be a
non issue.Of course then, we could all gripe about how unfair the
regions and state berth allocations would be. But then 1A has been complaining
about that for decades, but no one cares until a big school with some political
clout gets upset.
I agree with my friend from Duchesne. In 2A for example. North Sevier makes a
four hour trip to San Juan that is in the same region, while Gunnison, 13 miles
away is in a different region. STUPID.
They act like this is a surprise. Like they did not expect this to happen.
These classifications are all skewed anyway, so why not skew it a bit more to
make traveling easy and cost friendly on the schools. But Payson did their part
in playing their non-conf close with Spanish Fork, Salem Hills, and Provo. Bear
River was a bit of a stretch but you have got to give them one. They wanted to
play another 3AA school, they are surrounded by 4A. But they did do a lot of
windshield time for a 1-9 record. Break up the regions to accommodate the
travel and go to a seeding system for the playoffs like every other state. Then
the teams who deserve to be there are there, not just because they were number
four in their region with a 2-3 Region and 4-6 overall gets in while a 3-3, and
6-4 overall has to stay home. Put some effort into it UHSAA and do what is
right for your budgets and the kids.
The real question is why is Payson 3AA in football and 3A in other sports
instead of being in 4A like the numerous schools within in a few miles of them
with very similar student numbers.(Spanish Fork, Maple Mountain, Salem Hills,
Springville, Provo) Not only would this save money in football avoiding trips to
St. George, but also no trips to Richfield, Price, Mt. Pleasant etc. in other
sports. Payson has nobody to blame but themselves for their increased costs due
to their choice to remain 3A while those around them went 4A. Problem solved!
Another problem is moving schools into different classifications based on
competitiveness for example Canyon View. The UHSAA needs to stop listening to
schools cry about "its not fair" and set their classification numbers
based solely on enrollment. No more schools in split classifications etc. As far
as travel expenses go I'm 100% with Rural sport fan small schools in rural
communities have been dealing with this for years so it's hard to feel
sorry for a school who is use to their longest road trip being an hour now
having to travel 3 1/2. Lastly JSB there have been plenty of studies that prove
that participation in sports and other extra-curricular activities does
contribute to the overall success of students, especially in their high school
JSB, look at the GPA of the student athletes.... That will awnser your question.
Students who are involved are more likely to excel in the classroom and life.
I remember sitting through a six hour, (one way) trip to Monticello for region
before they dropped to 1A .( our school actually did do fund raisers to help
with costs). Also, the communities are very tight knit, so it isn't unusual
to receive generous donations from local businesses or alumni. Our closest trip
was an hour drive, which interestingly enough was about how long it took to
ride the bus to school after driving through the boonies to get everyone. In
my opinion, please note the word OPINION , if larger schools want to cut costs
then enforcing school boundaries might be something to look into. I understand
that there are pros for selecting the school of choice and circumstances that
make transferring schools better for students, but overall it probably has an
influence on the new region alignment . I think the 3AA is a great way to level
the playing field, but there needs to be a little more research on the options
of making it work. Otherwise, as mentioned by others, big schools will need to
tough it out like the smaller classifications.