(BLOOMFIELD) - The recommendation for the Bloomfield School District Board of Trustees to approve the creation of a high school football team died for lack of a seconded motion.
Board member Dwayne Hostetter made the motion, but none of the other board members made a second.
Superintendent Dan Sichting explained the recommendation was to create the high school football program, contingent upon the Football Booster Program raising the more than $76,000 over the course of the next six years.
"I thought it deserved to come to the floor because of all the work they (Lt. Cmdr. Frank Starr and parents) put into it," Hostetter explained about his motion after the meeting.
Following the motion dying for lack of a second, board president Steve Dowden and the other board members explained their position on the matter.
Dowden said he doesn't think as many students are leaving the school as has been insinuated, and he said data has shown schools across the county have shown a decrease in enrollment. Including those who have football programs.
"I think our problem is not football. I think we have a job issue here in Greene County," Dowden noted.
He added not enough research has been done to inquire about other prospective sports. He added the elementary survey showed one more vote for soccer than football.
"I think if we need to add a program, I think we need to look at more options than football," Dowden said.
Dowden noted he does not want to put money into a new sport until the facilities for the current sports are up to par. He referred to the track as "embarrassing".
Another problem Dowden addressed is the Title IX, gender equality act in sports. There was talk about adding a girl's golf team to counter the "boys sport".
"That is like a slap in the face to the girls at the school. There is no interest shown for girl's golf. There is barely an interest shown in boys golf. I feel like we are just putting something out there to be able to start football," Dowden said.
Board member John Combs said he echoed Dowden's concerns and added with funding cuts possible in the near future he didn't feel like it was fair to add a costly sport to the school.
"The other issue we face every year, is are we going to have to make cuts? Are we going to have to RIF (reduction in force)? I am not going to RIF a teacher, RIF an administrator, but then say, 'Oh by the way, come and meet our two new football coaches'," Combs explained.
Board member Eric Moody said while he agreed the program was not a good move at the time, he appreciated the passion of the Football Booster Club.
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