FHSAA takes action to reduce revenue
To stave off potential operation overhauls by Florida lawmakers, the Florida High School Athletic Association voted Tuesday to reduce revenue in an effort to put funds back into school operation budgets.
The board cut fees to its more than 700 member schools by 50 percent, which will spread $220,000 back into school budgets next school year. Member fees vary between $300-$1,800 annually.
The FHSAA has reduced membership fees for three consecutive years.
“My goal is to do away with membership fees,” said Roger Dearing, executive director of the FHSAA.
In addition, the board approved a motion to eliminate revenue sharing of gate receipts from cross country, wrestling, track and field and swimming and diving district and regional contests, allowing those host schools to keep all profits rather than give the FHSAA 15 percent.
The FHSAA also eliminated loss reimbursement for those sports, meaning the association would not refund schools for monetary losses.
During the spring session of the Florida Legislature, politicians moved to pass bills that would have cut roughly $2 million from the association’s budget and ended its existence by 2017. Though the bills, which viewed the FHSAA as having too much legal and financial power, died before they reached the governor’s desk, the decision Tuesday was to be proactive.
Linda Robertson, executive director for financial services to the FHSAA, said the proposed bills forced staff to reassess its approach. A survey concluded schools wanted less fees and to keep a larger portion of gate receipts.
Dearing said the FHSAA will try to offset fee and gate receipt reductions with more sponsorship deals.