We just had a huge opening weekend of high school football in West Michigan and across the state.  Thousands turned out and packed stadiums to watch student athletes, cheerleaders, bands, and more.  But is it fair to other students?

Does high school football receive too much money and attention?

There seems to be no limit to the passion some have for high school football.  A high school in Texas is installing a 26 x 44 foot Jumbotron at a cost of $750,000.  The football stadium holds 6,500 people.  With a capacity of 6,500, it doesn’t seem like a Jumbotron is really necessary to have a good view of the game.  But I’m sure that’s not the point.

New football stadiums and turf are also making appearances around West Michigan this fall.  High school football stadiums are usually used for many purposes in addition to football, yet football remains the primary reason they are built.  There are other non-football student athletes who would benefit if some of that money and attention were to go to their team instead.  Other extra curricular activities could benefit too.

Any high school activity could use more money and attention, but football games bring in fans in bigger numbers than other high school sports in most communities.  The games give parents, students, faculty, and the community an opportunity to rally around the players and enjoy a shared experience.

Sometimes excess spending exists in high school football, from both public and private sources.  When the excess comes from public sources it is a concern.  But when that excess comes from private companies and individuals and leads to an excess of community pride, then it can’t be that bad.  Can it?