The decision by the D.C. public schools to cut the Interhigh athletic budget, forcing drastic cutbacks in personnel, didn't surprise the coaches, but caused concern over the plight of sports in the city.
"It's nothing new. Coaches not being paid has been going on for some time," said Alan Chin, former athletic director and coach at Anacostia.
"We've been biting the bullet. The last spring. I know because I coachd the golf team. The only reason I did it was because I was athletic director and got $1,000. I'm not sure I'll do it again because the ads get only $500 now."
Because of insufficient funds, the D.C. system was force to cut out stipens for all junior varsity coaches, the coaches of minor sports and most of the assistant coaches.
Only the head coaches in football, basketball (boys and girls), baseball (softball for girls), outdoor track (girls and boys), volleyball (girls) and one assistant coach in football will be paid. The four head coaches of the major sports for boys and the girls basketball coach receive $1,000 while the other coaches receive $750.
The fact that the wrestling, swimming, soccer, indoor track, cross country, golf, gymnastics and tennis coaches won't get paid didn't distrub many of the athletic directors because most of those coaches weren't receiving a salary anyway.
We usually double up or split what money we get," said Bob Burnett, Theodore Roosevelt athletic director and track and tennis coach. "Most of the guys here would probably work for nothing. What we received wasn't worth the time you put in anyway."
Several athletic directors and coachs have vowed to quit unless money is found to restore order tothe athletic program.
"Some of us are talking about a work stoppage. The problem has been there for years and we sas it getting worse each year," said Willy Stewart, Eastern football coach and president of the D.C. Coaches Association. "We interchange coaches here and help each other as a system.That way everyone will get a little money."
Chin, Stewart and other coaches also expressed concern over the situation, which could cause a migration of junior high school students to the Catholic schools.
"Who'd blame them for going?" asked Chin.
"With no JV program anywhere, where can the kids pick up experience?" Stewart said. "They're either too old or weigh too much for Boys Club sports."
School Supt.Vincent Reed warned the coaches at previous meetings of the potential cutbacks and offered the suggestion of finding neighborhood volunteers.
"That brings about the question of qualification," said Stewart. "We already have volunteers at every school. And even they can't work for nothing forever."
In 1967, Burnett said Roosevelt was appropriated a total of $3,800 to pay coaches' salaries. The school received $3,200 the past year.
"We should be getting more, especially since we've added new schools and the cost of equipment has risn sharply," said Burnett.
Interhigh Athletic Director Otto Jordon sympathizes with his coaches but at the same time knows of the money problems that have plagued the Interhigh for years.
"Priorities. The system determines what they are and that's where the money goes. Athletics is obviosly not at the top of the list," said Jordan.
Except for few exceptions, most of the city's athletic directors said their schools will field spring sports. [TEXT OMITTED FROM SOURCE]tr for add five.
"In the fall, it may be a different story," said Stewart. "We'll sit down and decide what to do before football practice (Aug.15)
"Maybe the people who make these decisions don't want athletics in the city anymore. It certainly looks like they're trying to phase it out."