Contact:  John Johnson or Andy Frushour 
517.332.5046 or [email protected]

EAST LANSING, Mich.  – Sept. 19 –  Historically, membership in the Michigan High School Athletic Association has been free of financial obligations for member schools.  There has been no cost to join or to enter its postseason tournaments, and schools receive reimbursement for a portion of their participation expenses in many tournaments.  Of late, schools have begun to benefit financially in additional ways through the Association’s two-year-old revenue-sharing program.

Early in September, 142 schools were sent checks ranging from $10 to over $300 through a variety of programs the MHSAA is engaged in for the sale of school apparel, DVDs of MHSAA Network presentations, miniature tournament trophies, District tournament programs, and District awards as part of the Scholar-Athlete Award program.  Over the past 20 months, the total amount of revenue given to schools exceeds $60,000.

“This is a very modest start,” says John E. “Jack” Roberts, Executive Director of the MHSAA.  “We anticipate that as our efforts expand, schools will see even more revenue.  We’ve always avoided having membership be a financial burden on schools, and in these especially challenging times, we’re now helping our members in additional ways.”

The payments are primarily driven through general school apparel sales through the MHSAA Website, in retail stores, and customized tournament merchandise.  Roberts added that 100 percent of the royalty from school customized apparel available through retail sales goes to schools.

“For many years, you could walk into a big box store at the start of the school year, purchase merchandise with your school’s logos and colors, and not have a penny of the proceeds go back to your school.  Through our association with Licensing Resource Group, schools can now benefit from the sale of these spirit items.”

The Scholar-Athlete Award program at the local level is sponsored by Farm Bureau Insurance agents, who support District basketball tournaments with a donation to the host institution and a scholarship to a student-athlete participating in the event who was an applicant for the Scholar-Athlete Award.  A small number of agents took part during the pilot program in 2011, and more are expected to participate in 2012. 

The MHSAA is a private, not-for-profit corporation of voluntary membership by over 1,500 public and private senior high schools and junior high/middle schools which exists to develop common rules for athletic eligibility and competition.  No government funds or tax dollars support the MHSAA, which was the first such association nationally to not accept membership dues or tournament entry fees from schools.  Member schools which enforce these rules are permitted to participate in MHSAA tournaments, which attract approximately 1.6 million spectators each year.


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