Misspent Money

Editor's Note: This blog originally was posted July 15, 2014, and the message is worth another read.

It is not news to us, but it makes more waves when others report it.

William Hageman of the Chicago Tribune reported last month on a study from Utah State University’s Families in Sport Lab that found “the more money parents spend on youth sports, the more likely their kids are to lose interest.”

A Utah State researcher explains the connection: “The more money folks are investing, the higher pressure kids are perceiving. More pressure means less enjoyment. As kids enjoy sports less, their motivation goes down.”

Hageman exposes the folly of parents’ justification for their financial outlay – increasing their child’s chances for a college scholarship. Hageman says “a look at the numbers shows they (parents) may be deluding themselves.”

He cites NCAA statistics that only two percent of high school athletes receive athletic scholarships; and we have to add that many of those are not “full-rides.” The average scholarship covers less than half the cost of an in-state college education for one academic year.

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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 45 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for nine years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is chair of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation for 2018.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.