Inequity of school sports

One of America’s greatest obsessions is high school football, and it shows in how much support football teams receive. While other sports struggle to be noticed and funded, high school football teams receive plentiful funding and encouragement from students and staff alike, regardless of the team’s performance. 

This is unfair to many other sports, which must far outperform any football team if they’re to receive even an ounce of recognition. As such, schools need to open their eyes to the plight these other sports face and treat them as equals.

Every public high school has a traditional rival football game at the beginning of the school year. This event helps reel in funds and the football program garners an overwhelming amount of recognition in the days leading up to the big game. The team is celebrated through school-sponsored spirit days and lunchtime activities regardless of their chance of winning performance. 

While this isn’t a bad thing–I have nothing against high school football players–the level of attention the sport as a whole receives is unfairly disproportionate to that of other sports. For example, a school’s golf team might be winning the same amount of matches as the football team does games but will not receive anywhere close to the same amount of funding or support. 

Why don’t we support other sports the same way? Do they not deserve to be recognized or have an opportunity to make profit? Are they any less important to their high school?

Every rival game that any sport has should be recognized beyond a simple Facebook or Instagram post made by the school after it is over. If students and staff gave other sports the same level of support before its own rival games, teams would be able to make more money. For example, if USB sold shirts for rival games other than Branding Iron, more people would attend them. They would then be able to make more money off of concessions, game tickets and team merchandise.

While many sports do try to promote their big games, like Diamond Bar High School’s basketball  “Black Out” game, they are still not attended nearly to the same extent as football. This is probably because of the lack of support from both students and staff. 

Another issue, aside from the discrepancy between fundraising ability, is that football receives an exorbitant amount of funding from the school itself in comparison to other sports. While I understand that football gear is much more expensive than the equipment for any other sport, save for lacrosse or hockey, there are a lot of blatant luxuries football teams could live without. One of these things is the insane number of coaches football teams boast while less popular sports are commonly understaffed. 

The encouragement and funding high school football receives should be applied to every other sport on campus. Every sport deserves recognition and proper funding, even if they aren’t as popular as football.