At a time when high schools are receiving lots of attention and acclaim for their sports teams, it would seem only logical that having full-time certified athletic trainers to take care of their athletes would be a priority.
But in a 2011-12 survey by the CIF, only 21.2% (237 schools) indicated they had a full-time athletic trainer. The schools that said they had no trainer numbered 521 (46.7%).
The issue has come up after Fairfax had no athletic trainer in the gym Tuesday when guard Donald Gipson suffered a knee injury in the first quarter of a regional basketball playoff game. He was helped off the court by coaches and administrators who had first-aid training.
"In California and nationwide, it's a funding issue, and I don't believe school district superintendents and school board members understand the value and importance of having an athletic trainer on campus," said Roger Blake, the CIF executive director.
Fairfax was given $250 by the state to run the playoff game. It could have used that money to hire an athletic trainer for the night (the cost to hire a trainer was $110 during football season), but the school had other costs, such as the clock operator, ticket takers and security. Athletic Director Judi Edwards said the school will lose money on the game against Etiwanda because it hired four security guards. Fairfax had been criticized several years ago after problems with a state playoff game against Pasadena.
There will be athletic trainers at The Pyramid and Colony High for Saturday's regional finals.