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Archive for Tuesday, June 22, 1993

DONATING PROFITS WAS WAY OF LIFE

June 22, 1993

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As women's athletic director at Kansas from 1973 to '79, Marian Washington searched for ways to raise revenue for minor sports.

One way coaches pitched in was from funds generated from their respective summer sports camps.

"I utilized camps to bring in much-needed dollars for the program," said Washington, who has had 19 camps in her 20 years as women's basketball coach at KU. "The coaches were allowed to keep some of it. But most of the money was put into the budgets of the respective sports programs."

Now, of course, KU's athletic department has grown to a multi-million dollar operation. Coaches like Washington and men's basketball coach Roy Williams now are required to give 2 percent of camp earnings to the overall athletic program and keep the rest.

WASHINGTON, WHO has three week-long camp sessions, charges $275 for those who stay overnight and $200 for day campers.

The money adds up, considering about 200 youngsters -- between ages of 8 and 17 -- attend each session. Washington has seen an increase in camp attendance since her early years at KU.

"I think our program is becoming more visible with the success we've had," Washington said. "Also, there is much more emphasis on basketball. Parents like the idea of possible scholarships in the future. If a young woman can earn a college scholarship, that's a lot of money saved."

Grooming future college stars isn't the main reason parents send their kids to camp, Washington pointed out.

"I think word has gotten out that we want the young people to have fun and be in contact with positive role models like Lynette Woodard," said Washington, who is sponsoring her second camp session this week and another next week.

"Lynette (Woodard) is here all week working with the kids. We have other positive role models. I won't tolerate anything less. We have a networking of coaches who come back every summer -- from Oklahoma, Texas, Tennessee."

OCCASIONALLY, A parent sends a youngster to Washington's camp for reasons that have little or nothing to do with basketball.

"A parent will call me and say, 'Marian, my girl is shy. I want to let her get away from home and be around others.' If that happens, I'll watch that young person all week and make sure she's doing well."

Knock on wood, Washington says there have been no major incidents to report in 19 years of camps.

"We've been fortunate. We stress security and we stress supervision," she said. "In all the years, I've only gotten a few letters from parents who were disappointed with the camp. So many have found it beneficial.

"I'll hear from somebody who made the varsity at their high school and they've made a connection back to the camp. I always like to hear from those people. It makes you feel good."

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