Athletics could be cut in Aiken County during budget cuts

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News 12 at 11 o'clock, February 11, 2009

AIKEN , S.C. --- Those who support athletics in Aiken County say it's an important part of the schools curriculum -- a part they don't want to see cut -- during the budget talks.

The Aiken County Board of Education is planning to eliminate at least 120 positions in order to help make up for a 12 million dollar shortfall. Some of those positions may come from extra curricular activities.

Aiken High All Sports Booster Club Vice President Cam Scott says when it comes to money the coaches and teachers are already doing more with less. It is estimated that About 20-percent of the school system's athletic budget may be affected - approximately $150,000.

"When you look at the supplements compared to the other schools in the region they're probably half of what the other coaches make,' says Scott. "We hate to do the math sometimes but when we look at the numbers of hours they put in probably close to what they get paid is close to minimum wage."

Scott believes the non-revenue generating sports may be hit the worst - but he's optimistic that the athletic program will survive.

"The booster clubs will try to help as much as possible," says Scott. "We're going to have to probably get innovative with how we fund things."

No decision on any of the cuts has been finalized. A decision will be made on all of the cuts in June.

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