Payson School Board member Rory Huff and Assistant Superintendent of Business Services Bobette Tomerlin want to quell rampant rumors that athletics will be cut at PHS next year, coaches will not be paid and exorbitant “Pay to Play” fees will be charged student athletes.
The rumors began circulating Monday evening following a board meeting in which nine PUSD employees were laid off, including PHS principal Roy Sandoval.
Huff and Tomerlin stress that athletics will not be cut next year, coaches will be paid, and while there will be participation fees, they will not be excessive.
“The only thing we are changing is how we pay for all this,” said Huff. “We will not be paying out of the M&O budget, but from other fees.”
The funds to be used will include Credit for Kids, gate receipts, money currently in athletic accounts and participation fees.
Both Huff and Tomerlin said the dollar amount of participation fees had not yet been decided, but rumors indicating they could run as high as $800 per sport, are absurd.
“Not even close,” Tomerlin said.
She estimates the fees could be about what tax credits are, which is $200 for individuals and $400 for married couples.
Huff says some PHS sports, including football and wrestling, have large sums of money in accounts that can be used next year.
Tomerlin stresses that money is not the funds in club accounts, which are earned by the student athletes in various fund-raising endeavors including benefit steak dinners, discount card sales and calendar sales.
Rather, she says, it is in auxiliary accounts.
But Huff and Tomerlin anticipate the PHS athletic programs will go on next year with few changes from past years.
“I want to stress, athletics has not been cut,” Huff said.