Could Budget Cuts Spell Doom For High School Sports?

The future of high school sports in the San Diego Unified School District could be in jeopardy because of budget woes.

School administrators say it could depend on making painful cuts elsewhere. Otherwise, all high school athletics, from football to baseball, could be on the chopping block.

It's playoff time for high school baseball and Kathy Bruhn and her son are in the middle of the excitement.

But amid the frenzy, there's this. “I would really be sad,” Bruhn said. Saddened, she told 10News, by the school district's grim financial picture.

Partly because of the failure of the recent ballot propositions, the San Diego Unified School District needs to make $135 million dollars in cuts.

School officials say employee healthcare benefits and staff pay cuts are on the table.

They say, if the school employee unions don't agree, options like eliminating high school athletics, which could save more than $3 million, may become reality.

Critics call it a negotiating ploy by the district.

“Everything on the potential solution list is a possibility. That's why we've included it,” said James Masias of the San Diego Unified School District.

It’s a possibility that causes students to grimace.

“It definitely keeps you out of trouble,” said one student.

That’s a sentiment shared by Point Loma grad and retired baseball star, David Wells.

“I think it's absurd. Where are these kids going to go? What are they going to do?” Wells said Tuesday night.

Wells says for athletes, including his own son, eliminating sports would be devastating.

“But it'll never happen. I'll try to make sure of that,” Wells said.

Because of strong opposition like that from parents, observers don't expect the school board to touch high school sports.

The trustees will take up the budget again on June 2.