At dozens of metro Atlanta high schools, football programs are asking athletes to pay in order to play. The cost, ranging from $20 to $500 per player, may cover anything from coaching salary supplements to uniforms. It’s a controversial, complicated — and potentially lucrative — issue for many schools.

Controversial fees: Metro prep athletes pay to play

Mandating that students pay to play sports is not allowed in any school district in metro Atlanta. So football programs walk a fine line, saying the “registration fees” and “player dues” are really donations. In some cases, the money is collected through booster clubs.

An AJC survey of 68 metro Atlanta high schools found that 38 schools ask their players for money. Stephenson, M.L. King and Lithonia ask the most, $500 per player.

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