CHARLESTON, W.Va. – High school athletics and extracurricular programs’ budgets have taken a big hit this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Many have struggled with little money coming in, due to reduced attendance at games and matches, and less games, matches and competitions happening overall.

Less money coming in, of course, means it’s harder for programs to be equipped for things in the future, such as updates to equipment, fields/playing surfaces, uniforms, travel and other expenses.

But Governor Jim Justice says the state is prepared to step in and help schools recuperate some of those losses.

“All of our schools’ athletic departments have been impacted phenomenally bad from what’s happened with COVID. So today, with the work of the Department of Ed., and Clayton Burch, as well as through our office here, we’re both going to throw in two million apiece – that’s $4 Million that’s going to go to the athletic funds of all of our schools across our state.”

Justice’s announcement of $4 Million that will be distributed to schools, under the name of the Extracurricular Equity Fund (ECEF), comes in part due to his knowledge of high schools athletics, and how programs and schools make some of their money.

“They’re all in danger of just a terrible situation,” said Justice. “You can’t have enough selling of doughnuts, or pizza or whatever it may be, to raise enough money to replace the attendance, and the concessions and everything that’s gone on throughout the year that we haven’t been able to do.”

According to a press release from the West Virginia Department of Education, Morgantown High School will receive $92,550 – the most of any school in the state under the ECEF allocations list.

The press release also says, “The ECEF is based on student enrollment and dedicates $50 per student to the schools. These funds will assist in stabilizing programs that will continue to operate once COVID-19 is over.”

In total, the 26 high schools in North Central West Virginia will receive nearly $823,000 to help extracurricular programs. Justice pointed out, though, that this money is not to be used solely for athletics.

“Beyond sports, this includes band, choir, and student organizations such as Key Club, and Junior Civitan. … This goes to a lot of different organizations and clubs and bands.”

A list of what each school in our area will receive can be found below:

BarbourPhilip Barbour32,300
BraxtonBraxton County27,650
DoddridgeDoddridge County16,100
Gilmer Gilmer County11,650
HarrisonNotre Dame6,000
HarrisonRobert C. Byrd38,450
HarrisonSouth Harrison16,850
LewisLewis County33,850
MarionEast Fairmont34,800
MarionFairmont Senior39,950
MarionNorth Marion37,550
MonongaliaTrinity Christian3,600
RandolphTygarts Valley13,700
RitchieRitchie County21,800
Tucker Tucker County15,150
Webster Webster County17,550
Breakdown of what each school will received through the Extracurricular Equity Fund (ECEF) Allocations, as announced by the WVDE on Friday. (Table via WBOY-TV)

A full break down of the ECEF allocations for every school in the state can be found here, as provided by the West Virginia Department of Education.

12 Sports reached out to multiple local high school athletic directors from across the region to get their thoughts on the announcement.

One Double-A athletic director said via text, “It would be GREAT!!! We lost so much money this fall anything will be amazing.”

That athletic director also said they were thankful to have a “rainy day” fund, which has helped offset some of the costs this year.

Another local athletic director said, “We are extremely grateful for any assistance provided by the Governor! We usually make money at football ticket gates to pay for transportation costs, officiating fees, and various athletic department needs. This financial assistance will help us with transportation costs, winter and spring sports officiating fees, COVID supplies and general expenses for the rest of the year.”