Dear MAC,

High school sporting events are either free or don't cost much money to attend. Do the three local schools operate in the red or black in terms of athletics?


Dear Pigskinner,

I checked with the three athletic directors on this one. Bryce Barton, of Crawfordsville, provided the following answer quite quickly. North Montgomery's Matt Merica quickly seconded his answer. No word from Southmont's Aaron Charles.

Here's what Barton said:

"The state of Indiana is one of the few states in the country where athletic departments operate without much funding from tax dollars.  A small percentage of the Capital Projects Fund of a school corporation can be spent on athletic facilities and equipment each year.  However, gate receipts, concessions, fundraising and corporate sponsorship are the main sources of revenue for athletic departments. Most high school athletic programs in Indiana can operate in the black consistently.  Weather, participation numbers, and the success of a revenue sport (those that charge admission) can factor into the financial success of an athletic department.  The income from gate and concessions then pays for equipment, uniforms, officials, and workers."

Thanks to Barton for the answer.