Usually these opinion columns come rare here on FloridaHSFootball.com, but a recent issue that about blew the corker off most coaches in the state is something not keeping quiet on here.
It was the fact the state budgeted $2 million dollars for IMG Academy in Bradenton, that sent almost nearly every coach at a public high school to their boiling point.
I, myself is, a product of the public school system in Florida (Clay County District Schools to be exact), so I keep an eye on what is going on the education sector in about public education in Florida. So when hearing that Tallahassee can’t find the money to help schools fix aging infrastructure, but found money to give to IMG, it sent my blood boiling.
My question is why give taxpayer dollars to IMG? This is a multi-million dollar corporation that has it hands in everything from professional training for pro athletes to contracts with college athletic programs handling sponsorship and broadcasting rights including the Big Three in Florida.
The reason provided for allotting the $2 million in the 11th hour by the state legislature was that they (IMG) would be creating jobs. I get it about creating jobs, but we are also talking about money going to a private institution that is clearly not broke for anything and charges students anywhere the past the $50,000 a year a limit to attend.
What my biggest aggravation behind this is that again state can find money in places for private corporations, but when it comes to giving teachers proper pay and the fact coaches are not paid what they should be for taking on the extra duties, it makes me sick.
However, when hearing the news that Rick Scott vetoed the line item to give IMG the money when signing the budget into law yesterday, I cheered quietly knowing I was still going to write this column. In the end I need to speak what I am feeling because lately the opinions of IMG around the state and around most coaching circles has been very strong.
My hopes are that if IMG wants to improve its campus or create more jobs, that it looks to its corporate parent, not the taxpayers of Florida, who are mostly not interested in footing the bill for a school that certainly should be able to support itself. Also I hope Tallahassee one day finds a way to give the schools their construction money back in the budget so that our education facilities don’t fall behind 15 years like the rest of education has in the state.