Tuesday the state comptroller's office released the results of an investigation indicating the Collierville High School Baseball Booster Club charged higher fees than were approved by the school board, did not deposit the fees into the correct account and failed to turn in documents to the school.
Established to support and serve the high school baseball team, the booster club's purpose is to raise funds in order to provide uniforms and equipment, supplementing coaches for their work and other expenses, such as field maintenance and coaching clinics.
The booster club is governed by a board of directors and the head coach, assistant coaches and the school principal are all permanent members of the board.
According to the state comptroller's office, the head coach, who is Jeff Munier, appoints the booster club officers who also serve as members.
"Officers of the booster club, like officers of all other school support organizations, are required to ensure the funds and property of their organizations are safeguarded and used only for purposes related to the goals and objectives of the organization," the comptroller said in the report.
A procedures manual called the Model Financial Policy for School Support Organizations, which is also posted on the Collierville Schools' website, provides common accounting controls to make sure funds are used correctly.
The comptroller said the booster club did not follow these and noted three deficiencies in its investigative report.
In 2016-17, baseball players were charged $500 more than the maximum fee approved by the school board.
State law says schools can receive fees for student activities if those feeds are approved by the school board. That school year the fee was $1,600, however the investigation revealed in addition to the payment of that activity fee, each team member was required to raise an additional $500 through the participation in booster club fundraisers. This was done through making sales, getting donations from third parties or through "buying out" the requirement with a direct payment to the booster club.
The fees were to go to uniforms, practice equipment, game balls, safety equipment, officials, tournament entry fees and end of the year awards.
For the 2018-19 year, the school board approved player fees of $100 to be paid to the school, noting additional fees may be requested, not required, through fundraising and membership dues with the booster club.
In addition to the $100 activity fee, each player was required to remit fees, fundraiser profits or buy out payments totaling $2,000 to the club.
The investigation also found the fees were deposited into the booster club bank account.
Fees charged for school-sponsored activities belong to the school, and state law requires their deposit into school accounts, however the fees were collected, deposited and accounted for by the booster club.
Documentation from concessions was not remitted to the school by booster club officials.
The law requires booster clubs provide the school with all relevant concession collection records at the end of each event as well as monthly profit analysis reports.
According to the comptroller's office, the booster club and Collierville High School officials indicated they have corrected or intend to correct the deficiencies noted.