WCS coaches react to district dropping pay for play for 2013-14

By: Jason Carmel Davis | C&G Newspapers | Published July 15, 2013

WARREN/STERLING HEIGHTS — Warren Mott baseball coach Shawn Maloney said finances should never be the reason a high school student doesn’t try out for a particular sport.

That won’t be an issue next year for Warren Consolidated Schools students, as the district board of education voted to eliminate pay for play for the 2013-14 school year during its June 19 meeting by a vote of 6-1. The change affects sports and band activities in the high schools and middle schools.

Cost to play sports at the three WCS high schools — Mott, Warren Cousino and Sterling Heights High — was $100 per sport in high school and $75 in middle school.

“I think it’s great for the kids,” Cousino boys basketball coach Chris Shepard said. “This will help their ability to play more than one sport. You have those kids who may be solid in three sports, but they might not play that third one due to finances, and that won’t be an issue (next year).

“I think it’s good for the district.”

In a June 27 newsletter, WCS Superintendent Robert Livernois acknowledged the change and said one reason for the move is parents over the last couple of years have expressed concern over how expensive activities fees are. He said that financial burden is compounded in a family with several athletes or musicians.

“As a result, I am pleased to report (WCS) has eliminated the activity fee altogether for next year,” Livernois said in the newsletter.

Shepard touted the move, adding the cost to play sports at WCS was already lower than some other districts. He said he feels some sports, specifically track and field, and football, will be aided exponentially by the change.

“You might have some fringe kids who might not try out for a team because of the cost and because they know they won’t get much playing time,” Shepard said. “This allows for more kids to be a part of teams because, in the end, that’s all they want is to be a part of a team.”

“I’m ecstatic about the decision,” Maloney said. “I think it’s a great move that will really help out the district.”