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Utah high schools will return pay-to-play athletics fees to students after canceled spring season

Pleasant Grove players pile onto of each other as they celebrate their victory over Lone Peak for the 6A high school baseball championship at the UCUU ball park in Orem on Friday, May 24, 2019.
Steve Griffin

SALT LAKE CITY — The cancellation of the high school sports season has been a gut punch for athletes across the state, especially for the seniors whose prep careers are wrapping up in very unceremonious fashion.

Fortunately for all of those athletes, it appears most if not all of their pay-to-play participation fees will be refunded. The Deseret News reached out to every high school principal this week about school fees, and regardless of if the response came directly from the principal or through the school district, the 95 responses indicated students would receive full or prorated refunds on their pay-to-play fees.

For underclassmen, they’ll have the option of rolling the fees toward next year’s participation fees, which typically covers equipment usage, transportation, ref fees, etc.

For seniors or underclassmen who request a refund, they’ll be issued by the school in the manner requested. Any portion of fees that were used for personal items, such as hoodies, T-shirts and spirit packs, etc., won’t be refunded as students are keeping those items.

Some school districts, including Cache County, Box Elder and Nebo, indicated the refunds will be prorated for those teams who participated in games or tournaments during the first two weeks of the season before the UHSAA suspended play.

Cache County School District deputy superintendent Mike Liechty indicated several teams from his district participated in tournaments in St. George during those first two weeks, and fees for those teams would be prorated at each school’s discretion.

Many other school districts including Jordan, Granite, Washington, Davis and Canyons indicated students would receive full refunds.

Copper Hills principal Bryan Veazie noted that he felt it was important to provide a full refund to his seniors even though most of the sports had a few weeks of competition before the shutdown.

“The principals of the Jordan District, in collaboration, have decided to refund all participation fees for spring sports and activities. Given that the preseason got underway prior to the school dismissal, there are costs associated with those sports, i.e. bus/transportation, officials, etc. The schools in Jordan District will seek other funding available within the school budgets to absorb those costs,” said Veazie.