BOE talks supplementsPublished 11:49am Wednesday, August 1, 2012
The Alexander City Board of Education held a work session Tuesday evening to discuss coaches’ supplements in the city schools.
Athletic Director Pam Robinson invited coaches from the city schools to attend the meeting in order to answer board members’ questions.
“To my knowledge, we’ve never had a work session to get more comfortable and get more information about how different supplements work in our schools,” said David Sturdivant, board president. “We wanted to have the chance to ask questions and learn little more about the process.”
Board members asked Robinson how she felt about the schools’ number of coaches, and she said she compared the number of coaches and their supplements to Auburn, Opelika and Lee County school systems.
“The number of (coaches’) slots is not out of line,” Robinson said. “If we had our wish, we could use more coaches. But none of us think we can add more … because of this type of economy. We don’t have an abundance, but we’re not lacking – mostly because the people we do have work so hard.”
Robinson said the number of coaching slots hasn’t changed in recent years, except for an addition of a softball coach in order to be equal to the number of baseball coaches.
Various coaches clarified the supplements provided and what each coach’s duties entail.
Board member Fred Norris expressed concerns about placing too much focus on athletics rather than academics.
“I’m concerned with the amount of coaches and the money we pay them,” Norris said. “I take academics over sports any day, so we’ve got to compromise somewhere. Do we have kids over sports or sports over kids? We need to get a handle on what you’re doing and what you’re giving back.”
BRHS Principal Jose Reyes stated he estimated the extra time put in by coaches was at least 50 hours per week, averaging out over the course of a sport’s season to be between $4 and $6 per hour.
“I can referee 10 nights of basketball and make more than (BRHS Basketball Coach Jeff Hines) clears in supplements,” Reyes said. “If these coaches came to me and said (they didn’t want to coach anymore) … we’d be in serious hurt. What they do on the field directly relates to the classroom.”
Hines said the influence athletics can have on student athletes goes far beyond the playing field.
“It’s not about W’s or L’s,” Hines said. “It’s a lot more satisfying to see one of those kids walking across the field to get that diploma … (All the coaches) are competitive people, but it’s about instilling those life skills.”
Coach Sammy Teel agreed and said athletics can be a great outlet for students and help lead to their academic success.
“Athletics are an extension of the academic field,” Teel said. “It’s so important that students see those coaches every day.”
Board members reiterated the input from the coaches will be considered in any upcoming budget discussions.
“Athletics does influence academics,” board member Steve Robinson said. “We just wanted to get an understanding of the supplements and what work goes into them.”