The deal with football


Kaitlyn Glasgow

Football matters, but its not the only sport that does.


Since the beginning of my freshman year, I’ve overheard conversations about how “KHS only cares about football” and how other sports get overlooked. As a female athlete, it is always easy to spot negligence in women’s sports. I even found myself feeling spiteful towards KHS’s extreme bias towards football.

According to Corey Nesslage, KHS Athletic Director, each school year,  the rest of that money goes towards game workers and officials. Generally, the athletic department runs out of funds around the first of the calendar year, meaning there’s no funding for spring sports. 

The athletic department receives a set amount of funding called “Operational Money” – roughly $160,000 in taxpayer dollars. around 80-85% of that is allocated towards transportation. 

— Corey Nesslage

Mr Nesslage informed me that he generates revenue in the office a couple different ways. First, there’s ticket sales, KHS charges tickets for football games, volleyball games and some wrestling matches. Another way is selling athletic passes to students. Students  pay $40 upfront and then can attend any game, match or meet for the rest of the school year.

In all honesty I was expecting some secret account that goes to football, and so far this just sounded like basic and fair budgeting. Then Mr. Nesslage mentioned PBI. PBI is an acronym for “Pioneer Boosters Incorporated. It is a booster club for the entire athletic department. 

We do have some parent support groups, and PBI’s biggest revenue is memberships. When parents sign up for the membership, concessions at games generate revenue. And there is a golf tournament in the summer which raises up to 17,000 dollars. 

Most sport programs are on a three year rotation to buy new uniforms, that comes out of the PBI money. 

At KHS we have programs that get donations from the community, and programs that will randomly get a $200 check from a parent or relative. 

Kirkwood, unlike a lot of high schools, does not have a booster club for every sport.

— Mr. Nesslage

I thought the sport with the most donations would be football,  but it is Boys Cross Country. In my opinion, the athletic department does not have some huge bias towards football. The budget is determined fairly, and does not appear biased at all. I think it is rather the fact that football is such a popular sport. 

And I think the school, students and teachers that are biased. If we believe other sports don’t get noticed as much, especially girls sports, which is primarily the comments I’ve been hearing. Then it arises a different problem entirely, sexism, not the athletic department laughing maniacally and rubbing their hands together as they only fund football. I think football in high school is just a major thing, a ritual. 

I think that, in general, football is a more enjoyable experience: the huge stadiums, concessions, and enough people there you could go just for socializing. But if we work on ways to make other sports more enjoyable to watch in school, we will start seeing the scales of attention to different sports tipped towards a balance. 

Football matters, but it’s not the only sport that does.