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Banner issue sparks debate at Pa. board meeting

July 31, 2012|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com
  • Shown is a rendering of how new banners in the Waynesboro (Pa.) Area Senior High School football stadium could appear.
Submitted photo

WAYNESBORO, Pa. — Indian Stadium at Waynesboro Area Senior High School could be getting a facelift before the football season with the addition of banners.

The Waynesboro Area Business, Education and Community (WABEC) Foundation offered Waynesboro’s new athletic director, Eric McIlquham, a $3,200 contribution for the stadium. On Tuesday, he showed the Waynesboro Area School Board concepts for adding banners using that money.

The center section of each side of bleachers would say “Waynesboro,” flanked by “Home of the Indians” and “Home of the Maidens.” McIlquham proposed adding smaller banners to represent each sport.

“We can go out and get sponsorships for those (smaller ones), or different athletic booster clubs can get them. ... When you walk into our stadium, you want to feel like this is our stadium,” he said.

Some school board members expressed concerns about the “Sponsored by Waynesboro Area Business, Education and Community Foundation” lines on the bottoms of banners.

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“We’re going to need to talk about that,” board member Sherry Cline said.

School board member Billie Finn questioned the status of a policy being developed about naming rights and sponsorships. Assistant Superintendent Wendy Royer said she found what appears to be a draft of that policy.

Board members questioned their solicitor about whether allowing a sponsorship could set a precedent for the future. Attorney James Flower responded there is not a legal precedent set, although potential donors could have certain expectations.

“I’m not (in favor of) WABEC jumping in and selling off naming rights” someday, board member Rita Daywalt said.

The matter needs to be reviewed by WABEC and the school board’s policy committee, Cline said.

“We need to protect how the sponsorship is shown,” she said.

Board member Leland Lemley said he does not want an outside organization or person to go out purporting to sell individual sponsorships.

“This has to be a simple thing that intelligent people working together can solve,” Finn said.

Other school districts benefit from sponsorships and naming opportunities, and it might be time for Waynesboro to start, Finn and board member Chris Lind said.

Royer said WABEC is aware a policy needs to be developed for the future.

“My main concern, my fear with it is that if we say ‘yes’ to one organization, ... we set a precedent, and Victoria’s Secret reads this in the paper and says, ‘We want to sponsor the girls’ locker room,’” Cline said.

The board members asked to see a more detailed plan for the banners before they are installed.

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