Thank you notes have become a regular part of Jimmy Fallon’s “Tonight Show” comedy routine.
But there’s no joking when Alabama High School Athletic Association member schools write thank you notes in response to revenue sharing funds they receive. And those notes will certainly be many this year as the AHSAA Central Board of Control approved returning a record $1.8 million to its member schools under its Revenue Sharing Plan at its annual summer meeting July 27 in Montgomery.
AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese told Alabama NewsCenter that expressions of gratitude come in phone calls, written letters and emails.
“All the above,” he said. “The schools are very appreciative of the money.”
This is the seventh year of revenue sharing in the AHSAA. It was begun as a way to help smaller schools that struggle to provide teams on which their students can compete.
“That check that they receive for $4,000 turns around and it keeps a tennis or golf program going, or a track program going, and insurances that they have to pay,” Savarese said, citing that a small school may not bring in as much from a home football gate as it receives in revenue sharing.
The plan returns excess funds back to the schools when the AHSAA has at least one year’s working capital in reserve. The executive director said the AHSAA has averaged between $1.2 million and $1.6 million for revenue sharing since the program began in 2009.
The AHSAA had more corporate partners this year and, Savarese said, all corporate partner moneys go back to member schools. Playoff matchups were a factor in the increased surplus, along with having seven classifications.
One dollar from the cost of every playoff ticket goes to revenue sharing.
“We have been very blessed over the last six or seven years to have the surplus,” Savarese said. “If a TV contract gets better or more sponsors join the association, all that money goes back to member schools and that means more opportunities for student athletes.”
The Revenue Sharing Plan has returned $9.8 million to schools during the past six years. The formula for the distribution of funds includes a differential between classifications and the number of sports played by nonfootball-playing schools.
The Central Board of Control also approved waiving dues for schools for the 24th straight year – a cost savings of more than $83,000 in 2015-16 and approximately $2 million to schools since 1992.