For the record, I played sports in high school and would have blown gas out my ears if anyone would have suggested taking any of it away.
Nonetheless, in the last year I’ve watched two districts negotiate funding. Music and other classes have taken hits. Not once, however, have I heard much, if any, suggestion to scale back anything in sports. In fact, in North Kitsap they’re discussing putting in a press box at Kingston High School so the football team can play its games on campus rather than at an already built stadium at North Kitsap High School. One of the arguments against it, a side that isn’t winning, is that the district is considering spending $30,000 on a press box when it’s cutting elsewhere. On the other hand I don’t know if anyone has asked how much it costs to transport Kingston players to North Kitsap, so maybe at least over time there would be a cost saving. It might take a while for that to pencil out, but I haven’t asked either.
Amanda Ripley at The Atlantic Monthly, presents a case that despite its title, The Case Against High School Sports, offers a fair conversation about what might happen if schools eliminated sports. It’s fair, because Ripley also addresses sports’ pluses.
Precisely because of people like me, this might be a tough sell. But Ripley offers as compelling a case as I’ve ever heard. My apologies to the Kitsap Sun sports staff.