Paying without playing

With seasons ended earlier, students have differing opinions on the matter of their sports fees

With+the+spring+sport+season+ending+earlier+than+expected%2C+many+athletes+still+paid+their+fees+beforehand.+

Photo by and used with permission of nellis.af.mil

With the spring sport season ending earlier than expected, many athletes still paid their fees beforehand.

Olivia Donnelly, Staff Writer

COVID-19 has not only brought the 19-20 school year to an end but the spring sport season as well. Many student-athletes have already paid their fees for their season, but are now without the chance to play in games, matches, and meets, resulting in conflicting feelings. 

Jawad Alam, senior varsity tennis player, said that not refunding the athletes would not be the best decision right now because “I know that during the current time, it is important for families to receive as much money as possible.”

According to Alam, who had already paid for his tennis season, the money he paid for his season is likely going to good causes during this difficult time. However, ultimately he acknowledges that the families who paid the price for their sports should have the final decision. 

“I think that it is the payer’s decision to decide where the money should go. If the school keeps the money, they need to inform people of the way they will use the money,” Alam said.

For Hannah Laubach, freshman track athlete, her sports season is not necessarily over, just altered. With all the support that her team still provides her, she thinks the school does have the right to keep the fee money. 

“I think that the school does have a right to keep any money that we paid as long as they have made efforts to continually improve us as athletes even though we are at home,” Laubach said. 

While in-person practices may not be an option at this time, many coaches have taken it upon themselves to help instruct the athletes at home.

“My track coach, Kauffman, has given the distance girls training programs to follow daily for running workouts, strength training, core, and more,” Laubach said. “On top of that, he has also held zoom meetings once or twice every week to check in with us and to have motivating/running related log sessions which is something we would have done at practice.”

Greta Francis, junior JV soccer player, said “coaches have sent out workouts and drill sheets,” and that “the coaches have been emailing saying they are optimistic we will be able to have games this summer but at this point, it’s up in the air.”

Francis is one of the few athletes who had not yet paid the fees for the season because they were due during the week before spring break when school was not being held remotely.

“It would make sense to be refunded because no games happened and we only had one week of practice,” said Francis. 

Despite not having to worry about being refunded, Francis doesn’t think the school should keep the money because “we didn’t even get the chance to use the facilities and equipment for more than a week.”

On April 27, the North Suburban Conference released a letter regarding spring sports. One of their announcements was that they are “open to allowing spring sports game competition if/when the state deems it safe, and have placed no date parameters on that possibility at this time.” 

With the end of the school year in sight, those opportunities are closing. The loss of the spring season is hard on all student-athletes and Alam finds this situation particularly upsetting.

“I love tennis and I truly miss playing with some of my friends. I also love being competitive, and given that I have been playing for 3 years, my senior year would have been my most developed year as a tennis player,” Alam said. “I was really excited to compete with the talented players from other schools as the feeling of a tough match is thrilling and memorable.”