Board says it has no pie-in-the-sky ideas for athletic department

EAST LIVERPOOL – With the fall sports season fast approaching, the city school board’s athletic committee met Thursday to mull over a variety of topics, including the district’s current lack of an athletic director.

That discussion took place behind closed doors during an executive session, with no comment made publicly by committee members when they returned.

Chairman Scott Dieringer said after the meeting, however, that recent action by the school board not to renew the supplemental contract of AD Robert Shansky has resulted in a grievance being filed by the union.

Dieringer did not elaborate on the details of the grievance, but expressed his concern that the fall sports season is coming up with no athletic director in place and said the board is definitely looking at the situation.

In discussing the athletic committee’s purpose, vision and plan, Dieringer said members want to make the athletic department self-sustaining since it has always been dependent upon borrowing from the general fund to survive.

He said the committee wants to explore creating budgetary “pies” for each sport, so each has its own budget in which to operate and to create a rotation system for the purchase of equipment from those budgets.

Dieringer pointed out all of the district’s athletic facilities are now improved, and the committee wants to continue moving forward with that trend.

Committee members heard from ticket manager Greg Adkins, who said he would like to see the elimination of reserved seating in favor of all general admission since few reserved seats are actually sold.

“We don’t need the size of the stands we have now. People know there is going to be a seat available,” Adkins said. “Most people who come through the gate don’t care where they sit.”

Dieringer suggested perhaps just one section could be set aside for reserved seating, but the committee directed Adkins to provide the number of reserved seats sold so future discussion can be held on phasing them out or setting aside a specific section.

Member Randy Taylor said the committee needs to determine whether or not the athletic hearing board needs to continue to exist since appeals by athletes whose playing privileges have been revoked often end up with the board of education.

The hearing board consists of the athletic director, principal and a coach not in the season in question.

No decision was made on this issue at the meeting.

Coaches Josh Ludwig, football; Scott Thornberry, cross country/track; Kim Diloreto, girls tennis; and Tim Diddle, soccer attended the meeting, offering some information about their upcoming seasons.

Newly seated Superintendent Melissa Watson told the committee she looks forward to supporting the district’s athletics, having been an athlete herself in both high school and college.

The committee will meet again at 5 p.m. Aug. 11 prior to the regular school board meeting.