Sunday: Tulsa sports groups wonder where TPS rental money went
BY ANDREA EGER World Staff Writer
Saturday, February 09, 2013
Organizers of youth and adult sports groups say they have paid thousands of dollars in recent years to play and practice at Tulsa Public Schools athletic facilities, but an administrative shake-up followed by a year-long FBI investigation has left them wondering where their money went.
Federal officials have now charged former TPS Athletic Director Stephanie Spring with depositing into a personal account an unspecified amount of money in excess of $5,000 for the rental of school facilities. Her first court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.
All rental fees should have been deposited into the school district’s general fund — and that’s where local soccer and football league officials believed it was going all along.
“I was so upset when the news about Stephanie came out last year because we would send money to her all the time but most of the time, believe it or not, they never gave us receipts,” said Oscar Chavez, an organizer of FC Tulsa, a team that played in the National Premiere Soccer League and Southern Premiere Soccer League. “I only have two or three receipts from the first year. We would ask and they would always say, ‘We’ll give you your receipt next time.’?”
Chavez said FC Tulsa paid about $20,000 in all – mostly in cash from small fundraisers – to hold all of their 2010 and 2011 practices and home games at three local high schools, Memorial, East Central and Booker T. Washington.
“It was $100 without lights, $150 with lights and most of the time, we use the field with lights because a lot of our guys work, so we have to practice at night,” said Chavez.
He would have preferred to use just one site but was told there were too many scheduling conflicts with three Hispanic soccer leagues, which he said had 50-60 teams total playing at the Tulsa schools.
Read more in Sunday's World.
Former TPS Athletic Director Stephanie Spring is charged with depositing into a personal account an unspecified amount of money in excess of $5,000 for the rental of school facilities. She is set to appear in court Tuesday. Tulsa World file