Minnesota State High School League sport fee increase raises concerns

Jess Bengtson
Pictured are Activities Director Greg Garmen via computer at the School Board meeting with Superintendent Jeremy Olson listening in from the high school's choir/orchestra room.

    Crookston School Board unanimously voted to renew their Minnesota State High School League (MSHSL) membership during their recent meeting, but the cost increase was a concern for at least one board member causing more-than-usual discussion.

    Board chair Frank Fee started the conversation saying MSHSL was “jacking up” the price $50 per sport and charging each school district an additional $1 per student-athlete. Fee said he’d “vote no in a heartbeat” but probably shouldn’t.

    Citing tournament venue costs going “way up” and the MSHSL losing a “big corporate sponsor”, plus not being sure about the MSHSL’s insurance rates, Crookston School District Activities Director Greg Garmen told the board the overall membership increase wasn’t just because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    MSHSL’s fee per sport was $90 then increased to $110 in the last year or two years, said Garmen, then went up to $160 per sport and $1 per student-athlete for the 2020-21 school year.

    Ultimately the board approved to renew the membership, but asked District Business Manager Laura Lyczewski to check into how many student-athletes the district had and how many sports each played to get a better idea. Lyczewski noted that the $50 increase would amount to approximately $1,200 for the 2020-21 school year.