Tulsa Public Schools May Limit Travel For Sports Teams

Wednesday, April 27th 2016, 8:38 pm
By: News On 6

Like everyone else, Tulsa Public Schools are looking at ways to trim costs.

TPS decided to limit athletic teams' travel to non-conference games to a 75-mile radius.

"We will not approve anything more than 75 miles from the center of Tulsa,” said athletic director Dr. Gil Cloud. “However, outside funding can pay for those things, like booster clubs and fund raisers and corporate partners and so on. It's just a matter that we've got to look at where our bottom line is in transportation and that was one of the areas we had to look at."

Cloud says paying for bus drivers has affected the bottom line more so than travel.  

Related Story: Tulsa School Board Approves Schedule Changes, Athletic Program Cuts

And trips will still be an issue. Under next year's OSSAA Districts, multiple teams from Tulsa face District trips over 100 miles. One example is Tuttle at 132 miles to Broken Bow, nearly 200 miles.  

Events like Tournament of Champions and Programs Ads could help generate funds.

"Special events like that with advertising, they'll be some opportunity there for our schools who can't afford to do that," stated Cloud.

But it's district play that hurts many Green Country schools.

At Jenks they're restricting travel for non-varsity sports to 60 miles and boys and girls teams will not take separate buses. 

Jenks AD Tony Dillingham says only four make a profit. Football is minimal profit due to travel in district 6A-1 along with OSSAA reimbursement which hurts other sports.

"You'd be tickled to death if your fast pitch softball team broke even. Now, with the travel when you're going to Edmond North or Mustang, there's no real way around it the way the districts are setup," said Dillingham. "We would definitely like to look at the OSSAA from a reimbursement standpoint, particularly, from a football standpoint. That change affected us more than any change."