Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

Palo Alto High School's sports news magazine

Viking Magazine

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Numbers don’t lie: How the Paly Sports Boosters distributes its funding

Boosters spent approximately $260,000 on funding Paly’s sports teams during the 2011-12 school year. Of the money spent, over half was spent on transportation, equipment and uniforms.

University of Alabama table tennis. USC bowling. Ohio State badminton. Heard of any of these teams? Probably not. Heard of their football teams? Probably a different story.

Since football’s popularity took off in the first half of the 20th century, schools in the United States have often seemed to favor their football programs over the programs of less mainstream sports.

The USC Trojans have just opened their brand new John MaKay Center, complete with lockers with individual screens, a team lounge and an indoor, air-conditioned football field. And no, the bowling team doesn’t have one as well.

This perception of injustice exists at Paly as well. Over the past couple of years, many athletes from underrepresented sports at Paly have been vocalizing their complaints, saying that football receives an unfair advantage in funding, uniforms, and school amenities.

“I feel like it is unfair–football always gets new uniforms but track and cross-country still use the disgusting, crappy, unattractive, outdated ones,” Sasha Robinson (‘13) said.

Runner and former volleyball player Vivian Laurence (‘14) echoes Robinson’s ideas.

“I think they intend it to be equal, but in reality it’s not,” she said. “For example, in the Christmas tree lot, people choose donation, and those people normally support bigger sports and are biased based on volunteers.”

Although student-athletes do believe that football is more likely to succeed because of its advantages in the bank and around school, in reality, it helps funds other sports.

“The fact is that the smaller teams would not be able to survive without help from the larger teams,” Paly Sports Boosters treasurer Karan Barich said.

The majority of the Sport Boosters’ money comes from the  $175 fee to participate in a sport.

“Each athlete is asked to make a tax-deductible donation to support the athletic program when they participate on a team,” Barich said.  “This year we raised the suggested donation amount from $150 to $175 because the costs of everything have gone up.”

Because of this, teams with more people end up supporting those with fewer. Barich, however, thinks that this brings the Paly athletic community closer, rather than making it unfair.

“This is a good way for the members of our athletic community to support each other,” she said.

All of this money is then placed into one large pot and equally distributed to  each sports’ necessities. For equipment, clothing and other non-necessities, teams must raise their own money, which they often do in by working the Christmas tree lot and in the snack shack.
Water polo coach Matt Johnson finds the fundraising very simple.

“Whatever your program fundraises yourself goes straight to your program,” Johnson said.

Entrance fees to football and basketball games, however, are donated directly back to the one big pot that supports of all the sports.

While smaller programs may struggle to raise the same amount of money that football does, thanks to the communal pot of entrance fees, no sport will become as forgotten as the USC bowling team. <<<

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About the Contributor
Pippa Raffel, Editor-in-Chief
Pippa is a senior at Paly and this her second year on The Viking. At Paly, she runs cross-country and track and field. In her free time, Pippa enjoys hanging out with friends and cheering on the San Francisco Giants.

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