We continue our look at why Richmond should get out of the NCC or make necessary changes to reduce the amount of travel our student/athletes have to endure every season.

Before we talk about another factor facing Richmond taxpayers let’s look again at the HIGH COST OF STAYING IN THE NCC.

Since the NCC expanded, Richmond has made at least 51 trips to the Northern schools in just six seasons in only three sports (Football, Boys and Girls Basketball). When we include Marion it adds another 11 trips for a total of 62. We didn’t include all the other sports at this time.

Remember, the average cost of varsity football is $925-$950 per trip. JV football is $370-$425. Basketball is $390-$470. Trips for the other sports were estimated at $380-$500 per trip.

As you can see, traveling for Richmond in the NCC isn’t cheap. Also remember, the NCC athletic directors told us during the expansion that we would be traveling less, not more. I am pretty sure at least 62 trips over six seasons isn’t less.

On person commented that there is a price to pay for playing in a “premier” conference. We’ll address that statement next week.

Let’s look at the burden on the taxpayers:

First, RCS is almost a 100% “free and reduced” meal school. That number says a lot about the economy in Richmond.

Second, my friend Jeff Lane (News Director at Kicks96), provided me with information about the declining workforce in Richmond over the last 25 years. The numbers aren’t good!

Here is what he found in his research:

Keep in mind that these numbers are people in the labor force, which is not the same as a population number (labor force is the number of people in a community who are either working or actively seeking work, plus those who are able to work but are not seeking employment).  If you need to source this, the numbers come from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development, which keeps track of everything that has to do with jobs and employment.

I found it interesting that Richmond’s labor force is decreasing at a rate faster than any other NCC city.  Kokomo is actually growing, which surprised me.  Lafayette is booming, which may help to explain why Harrison and McCutcheon Schools were added.  I did not include Indianapolis (for Tech) because it’s so much different than any other NCC city.  Anyway, here is the breakdown for each of the others.  The comparison is 1995 to present.

  • Richmond:  Now has 15,278 people in the workforce  DOWN 4872, or 32%.
  • Muncie:  Now has 31,229 people in the workforce  DOWN 7264, or 23%.
  • Anderson:  Now has 23,589 people in the workforce  DOWN 6712, or 28%.
  • Marion:  Now has 12,396 people in the workforce  DOWN 3001, or 24%.
  • Kokomo:  Now has 26,126 people in the workforce  UP 2534, or 11%.
  • Lafayette:  Now has 39,073 people in the workforce  UP 13,226, or 51%                                                                                                                                                                             and
  • Logansport:  Now has 8,092 people in the workforce DOWN by 1345, or 17%.

As you can see, Richmond has dropped up to 9% more than any community in the NCC. That means more burden on the remaining workforce and the remaining taxpayers. It’s no mystery why the Lafayette schools aren’t as concerned about excessive travel as Richmond.

This is more data supporting our belief that Richmond must do something soon. The last time we checked, RHS doesn’t have an endless budget. The money isn’t available the way it was 30 years ago.