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Grand Jury Report Blasts San Diego Public School Athletic Directors

A grand jury report released today blasted San Diego public school athletic directors and coaches who are supposed to keep tabs on how athletic fields are used by "for profit" groups.

The report, titled "Foul Ball," describes an out-of-control process wherein some coaches and athletic directors have unilateral power to approve requests for the use of fields, collect the rents and deposit the funds in an off-campus checking account.

The funds are then reportedly used without oversight to pay for field improvements and buy athletic equipment at the discretion of the coach. According to the grand jury, nearly $100,000 has been diverted in that way.

In its report, the grand jury also questions whether larger issues such as wider campus needs and meeting Title IX requirements are adequately considered in controlling and spending the funds, and the proper role of district policymakers and school administrators in deciding where rental income is used.

The grand jury recommends a training program to educate high school principals, athletic directors and coaches regarding the district's athletic field use policy, and providing more campus-level oversight of field rental practices.

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