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'Pay to Play' in Schools Affects Teams, Players
MIAMI VALLEY -- The number of 'pay to play' schools in Ohio is growing.
"Pay to play" has become the norm in Ohio when it comes to high school athletics, but what type of long-term impact could these fees have on our local sports teams and young athletes?
"The bottom dollar is what everyone is looking out for. Schools are businesses just like any other. And they have to make decisions based on that," Northmont High School football coach Lance Schneider said Thursday.
Last school year, 82 percent of southwest Ohio schools had pay-to-play policies.
"In the long run it could hurt the school, the team, the talent that is on the field. And other schools like Wayne might benefit from lifting the rates," ABC 22 Sports Director Nathan Baker added.
Huber Heights schools made headlines this week with their $750 per sport fees, which was reduced to $428 at Thursday's school board meeting. And the Wayne Warriors are not alone.
Beavercreek High charges $300 per sport. The cost is $260 in Springboro.
It'll cost you $150 to suit up for Centerville or Fairmont.
Piqua, West Carrollton, and Northmont charge $45 per sport.
But not all local schools charge. All it takes is a good try-out to make the roster at Trotwood, Troy, Greenville and Miamisburg.
The majority of schools, require a pay-to-play fee.
"With those types of numbers, now kids have to make a choice of one sport and unfortunately for some, no sports at all," Coach Schneider said.
Our own Nathan Baker has been covering Ohio high school football for a decade and says the fees can tear at the core of athletic programs.
"Coaches that I've talked to have concern that players may have to leave, some may have to not play as many sports. They may have to pick one or find another school and there are options out there."
Many school districts do have booster clubs that help supplement the pay-to-play fee for low-income families.
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