Collierville baseball booster club charged fees not approved by school board

Collierville Booster Club issues

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - State investigators say Collierville High School’s baseball booster club charged students thousands of dollars it shouldn’t have, deposited money into the wrong bank account and failed to turnover financial records, all of which conflicts with state law.

The Tennessee Comptroller’s Office released those findings on Mar. 12 after investigating “allegations of malfeasance” related to the baseball booster club.

The findings have been turned over to the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

The booster club was created to support the Collierville High School baseball program and provides financial support through fundraising.

It is governed by a board of directors, which include the head coach, all assistant coaches and the school principal. The head coach appoints the booster club officers, who also serve as board members, according to state investigators.

According to the comptroller's report, the booster club charged student athletes thousands of dollars in fees "some in the guise of required fundraisers, which were not approved by the board of education."

For instance, the report said in addition to the $100 student activity fee in the current school year, the booster club charged players an extra $2,000. Players were given the choice to fund-raise or pay the fee out of their own pocket.

The fees were to go to uniforms, equipment, registration and related expenses.

In 2016-17, baseball players were charged $2,100, exceeding the $1,600 limit approved by the school board.

Investigators said state law also requires any money collected be deposited into the school's bank account. Instead, they say the money was deposited into the booster club's account.

And they say the booster club failed to hand over concession collection documents to the school, as required by state law.

"These relevant collection records include recorded counts of collections prepared and signed by at least two responsible individuals at the end of each event as well as monthly profit analysis reports," the report said.

The comptroller's office turned its findings over to the Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

In a statement, Larry Buser, a spokesman for the district attorney's office, said, "We will review the report and decide what action, if any, should be taken."

Action News 5 reached out to Collierville Schools a few days ago about the report, but has not heard back.

This is not the first state investigation focused on the operations of a Collierville Schools booster club.

In 2017, former Collierville Middle School band director Jason Seek was arrested and accused of stealing $133,000 from the band booster club.

Seek took his own life a short time later.

Current officers of the Collierville High School Baseball Booster Club and Collierville High School officials told state investigators they have corrected or intend to correct these deficiencies.

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