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Supplement change Title IX-compliant, superintendent says

By Deangelo McDaniel 340-2469

HARTSELLE — Superintendent William Michael Reed said he is confident that Hartselle's new supplement schedule is complying with Title IX regulations.

Just minutes after voting to change how the school system deals with supplements, a unanimous board put head football coach Bob Godsey and head basketball Coach Johnny Berry on 12-month contracts.

Head baseball coach William Booth already has a 12-month contract.

Greg Adams, who works in the vocational department and is the girls head basketball coach, is the only coach of a female sport on a 12-month contract.

This means head coaches of the three major boys sports will be on 12-month contracts next year, while only one coach for a girls program will be on a 12-month contract.

Federal law

Title IX is the federal legislation that bans school systems that receive federal money from discriminating on the basis of sex.

While it was not specifically intended for athletics, Title IX forced school boards in Lawrence, Morgan and Limestone counties in the mid-1970s to give female students equal access to athletic opportunities and supplements for coaches.

Reed said Hartselle is complying because the duties that give Godsey, Berry and Booth 12-month contracts have nothing to do with athletics.

Other duties

Booth has a 12-month contract because he serves as the school system's transportation director.

Berry is taking over some of the duties of a high school counselor who retired, and Godsey will assist the office staff, supervise maintenance of athletic facilities and maintain and supervise the weight program in the summer.

"We have teachers who do other things and just happen to be coaches," Reed said.

While Hartselle has not been one of them, the Office of Civil Rights in Atlanta has investigated some local schools about how they spend supplement money.

In the late 1980s, for example, Lawrence County had to change its supplement schedule to pay coaches of female sports more.

Federal investigators have typically let football coaches receive more supplement money than volleyball coaches. But basketball coaches and baseball and softball coaches are usually paid the same.

Hartselle's supplement change was not intended to create pay disparity between coaches.

Study recommendations

After receiving a study from two former school administrators and coaches, the board changed its supplement policy to save money.

The two did recommend that Hartselle put its head football and basketball coaches on 12-month contracts.

With additional days for supplements, Godsey and Berry already had what amounted to 12-month contracts. But Monday's vote gave clarity to what they do, Reed said.

Hartselle, like other school systems, uses local money to pay supplements. School officials said Monday's vote will save the board more than $40,000 annually.

The law

The 1972 legislation says, "No person in the U.S. shall, on the basis of sex be excluded from participation in, or denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any educational program or activity receiving federal aid."

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