Fee Pays for Athletic Trainers

August 4, 2017

Athletes in the Levy County (Fla.) school district will have athletic trainers from the University of Florida this school year, thanks to the revenue added by the addition of a participation fee. According to the Chiefland Citizen, the athletics fee invoice says that the athletic trainers will serve as a “go-between” between students and UF orthopedics, help diagnose injured student-athletes and assist with rehabilitation.

“By having a professional that can do that and be a go-between with the UF Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, they’re going to save parents a lot of time by being able to diagnose issues and coordinate with the UF Orthopedics, versus mom going at midnight to the immediate care center trying to get an x-ray,” Matt McLelland, director of administration for Levy County's school board, said.

McLelland said that in order to fund the athletic trainers, which cost $80,000 per year, the school would charge $50 to each student who participates in sports, a fee that students who play multiple sports would only have to pay once. He said they would also consider allocating $1 from every $6 sports ticket sold to pay for the trainers. McLelland said that while the revenue from ticket sales would vary based on how many home games Levy County hosted, the athletic trainers would be a worthwhile investment.

“I understand, being (the former principal at CMHS) how it is, managing the money,” he said. “But if a trainer can prevent one child who gets a concussion from dying, to me it’s worth it.

McLelland said that a fee of $50 would be cheaper than other counties. He said that other schools often charge $200, and could think of one school that charged $600.

“When you look at our surrounding counties,” McLelland said, “this is a big savings compared to Alachua or Marion County and places like that. And we feel the amount of safety that’s going to be administered by the trainer, whether it’s concussions, heat exhaustion, those sorts of things, it’s hard to put a price on that.

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