Valley school district changes policy, over parent concerns about favoritism

Posted: Updated:
By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PHOENIX -- Parents at one Phoenix high school are concerned that their child’s ability to play on the school’s baseball team has more to do with money than athletic ability.

One parent of a student at Arcadia High School told 3TV that they were concerned that former varsity baseball coach Ken Rudolph was giving preferential treatment to kids who also played on a private team that he coached.

“My concerns were that kids had to also belong to a private club team to be included on the varsity public school baseball team,” said the parent, who asked to remain anonymous.

The parent added that they were also worried that families who didn’t financially support the booster club were left to watch their child sit on the bench.

3TV obtained a letter from the booster club to coach Rudolph that lists which parents did or did not pay a “voluntary obligation.”

“Did the kid make the team if he didn’t pay? Pay to play? That appeared to be happening,” remarked the parent.

Scottsdale Unified School Board member Eric Meyer said he has no evidence that any rules were being broken, but added that they’ve drawn up new guidelines for booster clubs.

“We have laid down the law as a board and said this is what our expectations are for our kids,” said Meyer.

The parents said that while they felt that Meyer listened to their complaints, they didn’t feel that Arcadia and district athletic directors took them seriously.

Meyer said he’s committed to making sure all students have a fair chance to make the team, but admits he’s still concerned about public perception.

Parents said they were happy with the new guidelines regarding booster clubs, but remain worried that some kids are still getting left out.