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School Budget May Affect Sports Programs

By Dave Bullard


Oswego, NY – Schools pay for swimsuits, officials and coaches at swim meets. It's hard to cut those expenses, but they also pay for lifeguards for each practice and meet.

Hockey teams often have to rent the rinks they skate in. Other sports have expenses too. Those sports will get a small cost break next year.

Section 3, the body that regulates scholastic sports in Central New York will shorten the winter sports season because of the money problems schools are having.

Section 3 will also make it easier next year for schools to opt out of an extra end of season football game and will allow fewer schools into post-season tournaments.

There were fewer regular season contests this year that will continue next year.

John Rathbun heads Section 3. He says its one way to help schools avoid cutting sports.

"I think almost every league that's within Section 3 have talked about eliminating either sports programs or levels of sports, whether it be the modified programs or the freshmen programs or the JV programs, whatever," said Rathbun.

He says schools are acting on their own to cut another big cost, travel to and from games.

"One of the good things that leagues have done, especially scheduling their modified or non-league contests is that they've scheduled their neighbors, and so they basically don't schedule on the size of the school, but they'll schedule their neighbor, maybe play them two or three different times throughout the school year or the sports season, so they're real concerned with travel," said Rathbun.

Only one school district this year has proposed eliminating all sports. Hannibal this week put sports back into its proposed budget, but warned that if the deficit in the budget is still there in September, sports might not be.