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Return to sender: High schools preparing to refund spring athletic fees

Utah high schools are preparing to return pay-to-play athletics fees to students. (STOCK PHOTO)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Before it could even get started, spring sports in Utah were shutdown due to the coronavirus.

While a number of petitions and pleas to restart a truncated season have so far landed on deaf ears, many families are now shifting their focus to the dollars and cents involved. Specifically, getting their money back for a season that never happened.

Money-back guarantee? 

In a recent report by the Deseret News, they reached out to every high school principal regarding school fees. According to them, 95 responses indicate that students will receive full or prorated refunds on their pay-to-play fees.

That means for underclassmen, they’ll have the option of rolling the fees toward next year’s participation fees. Those typically cover things like equipment use and transportation.

What will not be included are the fees that were used for personal items, such as hoodies and T-shirts. That’s because students will be keeping those items.

Cache County, Box Elder and Nebo are indicating refunds will be prorated for teams who participated in games or tournaments during the first two weeks of the season. 

Covering the bill

While other districts are taking different routes. Copper Hills principal Bryan Veazie tells the Deseret News that he feels it’s important to provide a full refund to seniors.

“The principals of the Jordan District, in collaboration, have decided to refund all participation fees for spring sports and activities,” he explains.

The decision comes even though most of the sports had a few weeks of competition before the shutdown.

“The schools in Jordan District will seek other funding available within the school budgets to absorb those costs,” says Veazie.

Many other school districts, including Jordan, Granite, Washington, Davis and Canyons, have also indicated that students will receive full refunds.

Spring sports season

In reference to restarting the season, the Utah High School Activities Association has provided a statement to KSL Newsradio.

“The UHSAA Board of Trustees (Board) promotes the benefits of participating in education-based high school activities. [We] recognize the overwhelming disappointment this decision is for the students and athletes, especially seniors. The Board’s highest priority is ensuring the health and safety of the students, schools and communities during this challenging time.”