I haven't been able to stop thinking about something that United States Soccer Federation COO Jay Berhalter told me at the USSF AGM in Scottsdale Arizona.
During the Budget Q&A session the conversation moved from something to the Coaching Education program. A representative from Mississippi Youth Soccer asked a great question about a program to allow the in person Grassroots License Courses to not require a $25 kick back to the Federation... she made the point that these courses in Mississippi and other rural states are oftentimes the only way to give education to parent coaches in small communities and having the course cost the state $25 per coach made it almost impossible to cover the entire cost of them.
She said their state wanted to cover the cost of the course for the coaches... the instructor, the field, materials, etc... and offer it for free but with this $25 fee that has to be paid to the USSF it made it next to impossible with their small budget.
He said it was a great question that he hadn't heard before but he would consider it but it was unlikely that the USSF was going to be able to waive this $25 fee.
He went on to tell us that in addition to the $25 that the coach pays the USSF subsidizes the cost of these grassroots courses at a rate of $12 per class.
This struck me as very odd. I asked him how they can put a price point on this subsidy since a fixed cost for the website, creation of the content, etc will be made back or reduced as more people take the courses and they receive a $25 payment for every iteration of the course (even the online ones).
Jay Berhalter then proceeded to let us know that 144,000 Grassroots courses have been completed online and in person.
If we do the simple math of...
X $37 per class
He said that it is impossible to assign as exact price for the subsidy but this is a snapshot of what it looks like right now since they have to constantly update the website and create new content.
So using this simple math and what Jay Berhalter told us during the USSF AGM....
We have spent over $5 million dollars creating the USSF Grassroots Courses and making a website for the online courses.
$5,000,000 plus dollars.
Do you think this money has delivered the kind of course/licensing program that we deserve for over $5,000,000?
I almost forgot... they announced at the AGM that
535k of FIFA grant money developed the Grassroots Coaching courses.— Chris Kessell (@THEChrisKessell) February 16, 2019
So really, we are at almost $6,000,000 to develop and administer this ONLINE course. The Federation doesn't deliver ANY of these courses. The state associations and affiliate members bear the brunt of that cost. The only cost the Federation has had on the Grassroots Courses has been the development and website costs.
I also asked for results of the post course survey results to see if those who completed them found them useful or not... he gave me his email address and told me to email him... I did on the spot. He did not send me the survey results.
So I can't let you know if people have found them helpful or not.
Basically, $6,000,000 of our Federation and FIFA's money made these... we just have to trust them that they are doing their job.
One other thing that Jay Berhalter told us was that the USSF Pro License costs the Federation $22,000 PER COACH to put on.
So the first course they put on cost 286k for 13 coaches.