Saturday, November 16, 2013

Montana HS Football Program Mishandled Funds to Avoid Title IX

The Manhattan (Montana) School District is reportedly under fire from the state's interscholastic athletic association after officials there received a tip that the high school football coach was hiding the proceeds of a team fundraiser to avoid having to comply with Title IX. 

Over the last three years, head coach Dale McQueary has withheld $8400 from a team fundraiser (selling gift cards) in order to spend that money without authorization.  His subterfuge included getting students to falsify the number of cards they had ostensibly sold.  This financial mismanagement violates state athletic association rules that requires fundraising proceeds to be reported, so that the school district can ensure that athletic spending overall is equitable on the basis of gender. The coach purchased equipment and meals for his team from this secret stash, ensuring that his team received benefits that necessarily would have been on top of whatever the school had determined was football's fair share. 

Now that the coach's action has been exposed, the state athletic association has asked the school superintendent to present a "corrective plan" for the association's approval.  The association could also impose any number of penalties ranging from a public reprimand to suspension and forfeiture of games.  Meanwhile, however, the school district's reaction to McQueary has come under fire.  Parents successfully challenged the school's decision to suspend McQueary from his coaching position for the remainder of the season, so that he would be available to coach the team's final game.  (Really parents!?)  And McQueary is reportedly challenging the school's decision not to reinstate him as coach next year.