We interrupt your regularly scheduled golf program for a rant:
So here’s what it’s come to in Michigan:
After watching the girls golf team play in poor conditions with outdated equipment last spring, Alpena head coach Vicky Lindsay decided to take matters into her own hands.
Lindsay donated $1,000 of $1,300 from her spring coach’s salary for new golf bags, golf umbrellas and rain gear for her team’s 2007 fall season.
“With the budget crisis and the cutting of teachers, I couldn’t justify the need for the athletic department to pay for new golf bags,” said Lindsay. “So I thought of the idea last spring.” (Alpena News)
That golf coach makes $1300 a season. I can tell you from personal experience that coaching a high school golf team is, at a minimum, a 10 week commitment. That’s at least three hours of practice a day after school, every day of the week. On days when there’s a match, it’s more like six hours, including setup time, travel, cleanup, making sure the players get home, and so on. There also are Saturday events.
So at $1300 a season, Lindsay was probably making $5 an hour. She could do better at McDonald’s. And then she gives away most of it to the kids.
But she’s not after the money. She does it because she loves the kids and she loves the sport. And that’s exactly what Michigan’s legislators are counting on. They can underfund Michigan’s education system because they know that coaches and teachers will take money out of their own pockets to keep it going. I know dozens of teachers who spend literally thousands of their own dollars each year to buy paper, pencils, and other schools supplies for other people’s kids.