Pay-to-Play Down Slightly, Survey Shows
July 24, 2018
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
Slightly less than 50 percent of MHSAA member high schools assessed sports participation fees during the 2017-18 school year, according to an annual survey that enjoyed its highest response rate in 14 years of measuring the prevalence of charging students to help fund interscholastic athletics.
This year’s survey was completed by a record 80 percent of the MHSAA’s 751 member high schools, and 49 percent of respondents charged participation fees – down slightly from 49.7 percent in 2016-17, when the rate dropped below 50 percent for the first time since 2009-10.
The MHSAA conducted its first participation fee survey during the 2003-04 school year, when 24 percent of responding schools reported they charged fees. The percentage of member schools charging fees crossed 50 percent in 2010-11 and reached a high of 56.6 percent in 2013-14.
Class A schools remained the largest group charging fees in 2017-18, with 65 percent of respondents doing so – although that percentage was the lowest for Class A since 66 percent reported using fees in 2011-12. Class B schools fell to 47 percent charging fees (from 52 percent in 2016-17), while Class C (46 percent) and Class D (37) schools remained below 50 percent as well.
Charging a standardized fee for each team on which a student-athlete participates – regardless of the number of teams – remains the most popular method among schools assessing fees, with that rate at 43 percent of schools. Schools charging a one-time standardized fee per student-athlete showed a slight decrease to 28 percent, while assessing fees based on tiers of the number of sports a student-athlete plays (for example, charging a larger fee for the first team and less for additional sports) and assessing fees based on the specific sport being played (some being more expensive than others) both showed slight upticks to 15 and 5 percent, respectively.
The amounts of most fees remained consistent during 2017-18: the median annual maximum fee per student at $150, the median annual maximum family fee at $300 and the median per-team fee at $75 – all for at least the fourth straight year. The median fee assessed by schools that charge student-athletes once per year held steady at $125 for the second straight school year.
Click for the survey for 2017-18, and surveys from previous years can be found here.
MHSAA, MHSFCA to Provide Spring Evaluation Camps for College Football Hopefuls
By Geoff Kimmerly
MHSAA.com senior editor
March 27, 2023
The Michigan High School Athletic Association, in partnership with the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA), will be hosting first-ever Spring Evaluation Camps to provide athletes with aspirations of playing college football opportunities to show their skills and abilities to college coaches at one of five locations.
The one-day camps will take place between May 15-18 at Jenison High School, DeWitt High School, Jackson High School, Brighton High School and Detroit Country Day High School. The MHSAA’s involvement will allow for the opportunity for Division I college coaches to attend, and representatives from college football programs at all levels are expected.
Athletes who will be juniors or seniors in Fall 2023 may register to participate via a link on the Football page.
“This is an attempt by the MHSAA to help our athletes get exposure during the spring evaluation period in a way that does not intrude on spring sports,” said Brad Bush, an MHSAA assistant director and past high school and college football coach. “We are working with the MHSFCA to help put together a first-class experience for the athletes and college coaches.”
Cost is $20 per player, and each registrant will receive a shirt to wear based on the athlete’s graduation year and registration number so college coaches in attendance can monitor their camp performance. College coaches also will receive registration information for each athlete in attendance.
All athletes must have a coach from the athlete’s school staff present at the camp, and that coach must be a member of the Michigan High School Football Coaches Association.
MHSFCA executive director Andrew Pratley called the Spring Evaluation Camps a tremendous opportunity for high school athletes in Michigan.
“We are very excited with the partnership with the MHSAA that allows our kids the opportunity to wear a helmet and do drills in front of college coaches in the spring at a minimal cost,” Pratley said. “College coaches are thrilled, and it's a unique opportunity to have the rules waived by the MHSAA at these events only in order to showcase the tremendous talent all over the great state of Michigan.”
The Michigan High School Football Coaches Association (MHSFCA) has been devoted to the promotion of high school football since its inception in March 1972. The MHSFCA has more than 2,500 members and provides several educational and development opportunities for members and their athletes, including an annual coaching clinic, an annual leadership conference for coaches and potential team captains, and the annual summer East-West All-Star Game for graduated seniors. Additionally, the MHSFCA’s Leadership Development Alliance is in its third year of training coaches and offering veteran members of the association as mentors.
The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by more than 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition. No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools. Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract more than 1.3 million spectators each year.