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Athletic accountability and funding in New Hanover County

READ MORE: Athletic accountability and funding in New Hanover County
Last night, John Rendleman took a school-by-school look at the Title IX compliance issues for the New Hanover County high school athletic facilities. Tonight in part two of his special report, John takes a look at accountability and funding. Joe Miller has been the athletic director for the New Hanover County school system for 15 years. He said in the past, athletics has not been a priority in the overall school budget, but now that the county is under the Title IX microscope, there may be a priority shift. "Whenever you're asking for capitol outlay projects, which means big money projects, it goes in and I just showed you a sheet that had 75 requests on it, and when athletics is one of them it usually goes to the end of the priority list which means it never gets up to the top because you can only fund so many. Now with the Office of Civil Rights, they'll have to be funded or you'll lose federal money." Miller said New Hanover County is fortunate to have quality athletic facilities, but he admits there are some shortcomings. "Have we done a good job keeping up with it? I'm not sure, but I do know this, when you add a sport you have to be prepared to have locker rooms, a practice field, a playing field, bathrooms, transportation and officials. You just don't add a sport and say it's not going to cost you anything because it certainly does." In New Hanover County there are 22 different sports ranging all the way from football to girls tennis. Many critics point to facility issues. Changes are being made to make the facilities more equitable, but are the changes just a Band-Aid to meet Title IX regulations? "I don't think it's a Band-Aid, I think we're meeting our compliance issues; unless someone drops $3 to 4 million on us to build a new facility, we have to make work with what's workable." With budget cuts all across the board, in the classroom and with extra-curricular activities, the combination of Title IX and the OCR presents one more challenge.

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