Sunday, March 24, 2013

Policy "KG" Brings Coaches Out in Force

We're baaaa-aaaack!

Who woulda thunk?
The Planning Committee meeting agenda seemed rather vanilla...but lurking within was a revision being proposed to Policy KG - Use of School Facilities.  And someone gave a heads up to school district coaching staff and local youth programs, because a rough head count of 24 attendees --all coaches and youth program folks---was made.

Something smells funky here.
It's almost like someone stuffed a bunch of really damp, sweaty gym clothes in a hole in the wall, spackled it over and painted it up. It's good as new...right?  At least until the temperatures start soaring.     That's what the revisions to Policy KG do.  We have a problem folks, and the district is simply opting not to address it.

Let's charge fees to the Madison Down's Syndrome Society to use our facilities, but let's not charge the coaches that are running a camp that takes in an estimated $17, (air condition and) use the fieldhouse, right?  It's all about the kids, so we shouldn't be charging camps to use our fields/facilities.  It' all about the kids....just not THOSE kids.  How dare you!!!!

Oh wait...NOW you don't want to charge a fee to ANYBODY...right?   The fine taxpayers of Sun Prairie (and yes, some of you are also coaches) provided at least $6 MILLION dollars for athletic fields (no to mention indoor facilities).  These things require maintenance and upkeep, and policy KG simpy charged a nominal fee to cover those costs.  But it's cutting into SOMEONE's profits.

Don't we already have a policy?
Why yes...why yes we do.  And SP-EYE looked at facility/field reservation and use over the past 2 years an we did not see a SINGLE athletic camp reimbursing the district for field/facility use.   Were they even billed?   Hmmm.  We hear that fees were waived.  Is that true?  Because we do not see anything in existing policy that would allow fees to be waived.  No one has that authority.  So if it happened (and we believe it did)...WHO ORDERED THE CODE RED?

Look folks, we have a policy now that is not being followed.  What makes anyone believe that changing th policy is going to result in compliance?  Compliance can only occur when someone is enforcing the policy.  That' not happening.  And it was clear Monday night that the district want to ignore the past and focus on the future.

Phil Frei lacks the information...again
School board member Steve Schroeder very astutely asked Phil Frei what revenues we received for field/facility use.   Frei was very quick wit
h figures for revenue generated by the pool ($24K) and the Performing Art Center ($15K).   Schroeder asked , "What about for fields?"   Frei looked away and said that he didn't have that information.

Really?  You have pool and PAC revenues on the tip of your tongue and at a meeting when all the coaches appear to talk about field rental fees, you don't have that information"?  REALLY?  Once again, the district doesn't look so hot.  One has to ask the obvious question....did Frei REALLY not know?  Or did he know but did not wish to air it publicly because it would not look very good.

We don't want to pay to use facilities!
It was abundantly clear that coaches feel they should not have to pay a dime to use district facilities.  Of curse, we can't find any indication that many coaches have actually been paying. As Brian Kaminski stated, "I'm fine with paying for the lining of fields, but not field use fees."  Really, coach?  Have you PAID for the cost of lining those fields in even the past 2 years?  Ever?

Kaminski admits that coaches DO get paid
Football coach Brian Kaminski may have unwittingly admitted something else that we are hearing most coaches are denying:  that coaches receive payment for their involvement in camps.  Perhaps he got caught up in the moment, but Kaminksi blurted out, "The amount of money we make as coaches [at these summer camps] is minimal".   Well, Brian, I guess what constitutes "minimal" may be in the eye of the beholder.  But you DO receive pay.  You DO profit.  What we're wondering is: how much did it cost the taxpayers to line those fields and then restore them after they were subject to weeks of drought last summer and then your football camp, which includes not jut Sun Prairie, but Waunakee football?

Taking Title IX a little too lightly?
At one point the spectre of Title IX was invoked.  There are some folks concerned that if we do not know where the money is going for these camps, then we run the risk of developing inequity in funding for male vs. female sports and activities.

Coach and SPEA president Brad Lutes responded to the resident's concern by stating that the SP Quarterback Club recently donated a number of new football helmets for the football program.   Lutes indicated that he did not believe that the girls volleyball or softball teams would have any interest in an equivalent number of football helmets.

Mister Lutes (we think) was being funny, tossing in a wisecrack.  Forgive us if we do not share his the humor in light-hearted jab.  Title IX is serious business.   No, perhaps the girls teams have no use for football helmets, but we bet they WOULD leap at the opportunity of securing funding equivalent to the cost of those helmets!

We see those cool "Gators" being used to drive (what else) Gator Aid and other equipment onto the football field.  We've often wondered who paid for those?  Are they just reserved for football use?  Because  we're pretty sure that the girls softball team might appreciate the use of them to drive bats and balls over to their field, assuming they don't already.

That's what Title IX is about, Brad...making sure that program equities exist for both boys and girls (and coed) sports.

Being Purposely Obtuse?
God bless the STAR for they don't seem to get it.  The article about this meeting wasn't even aspired to be bland.  Despite the concern raised bout Title IX, no mention was made.

In the end, the committee wisely decided to table the issue.  Of course, then the question comes back to...why haven't we collected money for field use by camps over the past 2 years?  Hmmmm...we smell an Open Records Request simmering on the front burner.  Cn you say, "Open Records Request" boys and girls?  There.  We knew you could!