OT: Ann Arbor schools cut freshman sports teams

Submitted by Sgt. Wolverine on June 25th, 2011 at 7:58 PM

In a cost-cutting move, the Ann Arbor school district has decided to cut all freshman sports teams except football.  They're also cutting several sports programs entirely -- including lacrosse -- though those programs do have the opportunity to return as club sports.




June 25th, 2011 at 8:00 PM ^

I believe it was either cut some funding for the sports programs, or lay off staff members like teachers, para-educators, etc.  It is sad, but I would rather have the education curriculum in tact and develop sports programs through other means. 


June 25th, 2011 at 10:34 PM ^

In order to attract and maintain an excellent working environement for teachers you need to recruit and maintain quality administrators. It is a catch 22. You cannot maintain and hire quality and effective educators (research has shown overwhelmingly a student's teacher is the number one influence on their education) without a healthy working environment. Past work has shown the top variable for recruiting and maintaining the top educators are adminstrators with high leadership abilities.

There are many things effed up about our current public education system. NCLB, curent funding levels, school safety, athletics importance on a district's bundget, high variability in curriculua, and assesment are just a few of the many things that need to reformed in public education.


June 26th, 2011 at 12:16 PM ^

I am not saying that at all. All I am saying is that we need to honestly look at the priorities in our school budgets. We also need to look at the curriculas of teacher and administration training programs. Coming from afamily of educators, I side with educators all the time. However, I also recognize the need for high quality leadership in the administration ranks.


June 25th, 2011 at 8:18 PM ^

Where Im from freshman year is a crucial time in a kids life they start getting exposed to drugs, drinking, and sex, sports keeps kids out of that and gives them a reason to try and get good grades so they can stay eligible otherwise some of those kids could have ended up on the wrong path me being one of them.


June 25th, 2011 at 10:39 PM ^

I agree with you.  Just b/c you don't make the JV team as a freshman doesn't mean you should give the sport up.  Work hard and come back as a soph and make another run.  If I was a JV coach at these schools I would encourage all freshman to show up a JV practices and work towards getting better. Michael Jordan seemed to do okay after he got cut as a freshman in high school.


June 25th, 2011 at 8:06 PM ^

I'm not sure if it happened, but the city of Cleveland almost cut ALL sports programs a couple years ago because of funding.

We don't have freshman sports where I live.  The freshmen are allowed to play, but they have to compete with 10th graders to make JV squads.  It's pretty sad.


June 25th, 2011 at 8:59 PM ^

Poverty and bullying are common, too.  That doesn't prevent them from being sad.

What's "sad" is that the economy has reached a point where extracurricular/athletic opportunities are being taken away from youths.  I agree with the above poster that I'd rather have athletics taken away than teaching positions, but that doesn't make cutting sports okay. It's just a necessary evil.

late night BTB

June 26th, 2011 at 5:39 AM ^

maybe this will bring 'The Sandlot' type sports environment.  I know I always prefered playing shinny and bball court roller hockey with neighbors, brothers, and friends to the overly officiated, parent coached, organized hockey. 

Biggest difference: in pond hockey pent up anger wasn't released in slashes and cross checks but with actual fighting.  Epic. Brawls.  Then back to the game!

Mitch Cumstein

June 25th, 2011 at 8:20 PM ^

I guess there is opportunity for some private sports leagues to expand. Also, hopefully JV teams will carry larger squads or maybe practice squads of some sort.


June 25th, 2011 at 8:28 PM ^

I didn't even know what freshman teams were until I clicked this thread. Where I went to school there were two teams: junior (9,10) and senior. I could be wrong, the only high school sport I played was badminton, at which I excelled until inevitably advancing to the provincial finals to be put in my place by vastly superior Asian players. And that's not racism....Asians are fucking good at badminton.


June 25th, 2011 at 8:53 PM ^

OHL players aren't allowed to play high school hockey. Teams generally send all of their players to the same school and so that team would dominate it's area. Also, not to be a dick, but high school hockey in Ontario isn't very good, anyone with talent plays junior A, B, or C. Thus, a good ohl player would produce points at an alarming rate in a high school league.

Wolverine Devotee

June 25th, 2011 at 8:39 PM ^

My school district just cut the 7th-8th grade sports also. Shame. This is only gonna weaken the football and basketball talent for recruiting. Not that anyone good comes from my district anyways but still.  


June 25th, 2011 at 9:19 PM ^

Does anyone know what happened to "Pay to Participate" for high school sports?  Are all school districts in on this?  I would think the only drawback would be some districts being in areas where households are from a lower income class level were unable to install this as there could have been the possibility of little participants in the sports programs. 

Picktown GoBlue

June 26th, 2011 at 1:22 AM ^

here in the wonderful state down south, where the school funding process was declared unconstitutional in 1997, and where the state has yet to come up with a constitutional plan to fix it 14 years later, if your levies don't pass, you get things like this (instead of cutting sports): $500 per student per sport in high school, $325 per student per sport in junior high, $325 per student per activity among (marching band/theatre/chorale), $50 per student for orchestra.  Just one district, but will surely price many kids out of sports, especially those who used to be multi-sport, or multi-activity.  It's hurting all over.

Feat of Clay

June 25th, 2011 at 9:39 PM ^

Well, they've got to balance the budget somehow. It's really too bad. My son is a rising 7th grader in a private school that ends at 8th grade. We have to decide whether to send him to an AA public high school after that. No available sports in 9th grade (except football) could be one more thing in the "no" column.


June 25th, 2011 at 10:14 PM ^

coming from a small town without a large university right next door, how much do they get from parking throughout the year for michigan sports?  maybe pioneer shouldnt spend so much money making their lawn all nice like an old person would do.  I would be pissed if I was a freshman who wanted to play sports but wasnt good enough to make jv


June 25th, 2011 at 10:37 PM ^

In my school district (Which I am currently attending) They cut all 7th and 8th grade sports except for football, sideline cheerleading, and volleyball. They have to fundraise to keep even those sports.


June 25th, 2011 at 11:10 PM ^

Unfortunately the economy will do this to more and more cities. Hopefully they can return, but where I live, it took like 20 years to get a varsity program back in place after the economy tanked in the 80s.


June 25th, 2011 at 11:33 PM ^

I don't know how this shit is gonna work. The district where I go to school (Bedford Public Schools) just closed the elementary school I went to from k-6th grade, laid off 30 or 40 something teachers, and consolidated buses and are still in a shortfall. They haven't cut any sports teams yet but they increased the amout you have to pay to play. Glad I only have one year left there. How kids are supposed to get a good education with all these cuts I don't know...


June 25th, 2011 at 11:41 PM ^

is that we are spending so much $$$ on ^&##*!% wars that we don't even prioritize investing in physical and human infrastructure. Treating this like "an either/or" deal is just caving into the Thatcherist "There Is No Alternative" dogma.

late night BTB

June 26th, 2011 at 5:31 AM ^

one has to wonder, in light of both HS and university budgets, if the European model of schools and athletics might take hold.  That is, leave schools and universities to educate and athletics as separate organizations*.

For me, this is a superior system to the subsized athletic program model (EMU is a recent example).  At which point does the balance between education and athletics shift and a 'school' become more about athletics?  (I'm looking at you SEC'ers) 

*Obviously very difficult to do the ingrained culture in America with schools and their sports teams.  Here in France, not an issue.


June 26th, 2011 at 6:58 AM ^

Isnt football more costly to operate (equipment, insurance)? So if your are trying to save money why then would you keep freshman football and cut all freshman sports and some other sports entirely?


June 26th, 2011 at 12:08 PM ^

Football is the biggest moneymaker.  None of the other sports get any return on their investment.  Plus people would literally rebel.  Parents would move their kids out of the school district, mob the school board offices, etc.  Football is sacred.  I'm not even exaggering.  You should have seen the reaction from parents when the schools where I live cut just the FRESHMAN football program.


June 26th, 2011 at 9:09 AM ^

Back when I was in high school, we only had JV and Varsity teams in all sports.

Where I coach now, we only have JV and Varsity football teams.  Most, if not all, of our competition only has JV and Varsity football teams.   It's really not the end of the world.