LaMarr Woodley donates $60,000 to cover school budget cuts

AP

A Michigan school district will not have to go through with plans to make students pay to play sports after Steelers linebacker LaMarr Woodley stepped in to help.

As a result of budget cuts, Saginaw Public Schools implemented a fee of $75 this year for students wanting to play sports. When Woodley, a 2003 Saginaw High School graduate, heard about that, he contacted the school district, asked how much money those fees would collect, and then told them to scrap the fees because he’d cover the $60,000 himself.

Woodley has declined to draw any attention to himself for his donation, but the school’s athletic director, Dan Szatowski, told the Saginaw News that hundreds of kids are going to benefit from Woodley’s generosity.

If you know him, you know he’s not doing it to see his name in the paper,” Szatkowski said. “He’s beyond that. What a great message this sends to the kids, to the families, to the other people in the city and even the state. It’s a tough time, but here’s a professional player who gets it. This is a big deal. He’s providing the means for kids to participate. What’s the price you can put on that? What price do you put on an experience? LaMarr Woodley is providing for that experience.”

During an offseason when far too many NFL players were in the news for drunk driving or domestic violence, Woodley is the kind of player NFL fans should celebrate.

82 responses to “LaMarr Woodley donates $60,000 to cover school budget cuts

  1. wow. what a man. why cant more players be generous like Lamarr woodly. good heart. good man.

  2. Class act. Too bad more athletes don’t do the same. Or maybe the media doesn’t cover these stories. Unfortunately players
    only get attention when they’re in trouble.

  3. What a fantastic gesture, and what a stupid society that we live in where we can’t fund our schools sufficiently so crap like this needs to happen. Heaven forbid we pay reasonable taxes.

  4. i absolutely hate the steelers and watching this guy harass joe constantly, but that story made me smile, good for him!

  5. Very nice of him, but its not a long term solution. Next year, they will still want to charge that because the budget does not allow for sports. Its that simple. Unless youre going to cover it every year, the fee is going to stick.

    A lot of high schools are doing this now. Heck, 71% of my property taxes goes to our regional high school. Thats a ton of money. And somehow, they cant afford sports without a fee, the teachers complain they dont make enough, and everyone complains about supplies, and how the school doesnt even have paper.

    Something is terribly wrong with our system as it stands. We have a typing teacher in our system that is making $93,000 this year. She has been teaching for 33 years, but $93,000 to teach typing is slightly absurd if you ask me.

  6. Being an Irish fan and not liking Michigan at all, I applaud his generosity. Good for Lamarr and the Saginaw community!

  7. Sagingaw has a lot of blight and bad news going on. It’s great to see some positive news about the area and a man who does not seek acolades to assist the town he’s from. That’s the measure of greatness.

  8. It’s easy to focus on the negative when that’s all that gets delivered to your doorstep. I’ll bet all teams have at least one player that does stuff like this every year, and like Woodley, they don’t necessarily want the accolades so it goes unreported. Don’t forget that while there were a lot of arrests this year and a lot of turds exposed, there were a lot more that lived their lives respectably and gave a little back. Raise a glass to the ballers that don’t forget their origins!

  9. It would be nice if more players were like this helping out other school districts in our country…!
    Cudos, LaMar, cudos….!

  10. Suh donated $2.6 million to the University of Nebraske BEFORE he even signed his first pro contract. Very commendable. I just wish some of that money found its way to the Detroit Public School system now that Kwame Krookpatrick and the other thieving con artist associates of his have been swept out of Detroit and into prison.

  11. It’s stories like this that make football great. I hate the steelers and I’m sure the feeling is mutual as I am a pats fan. But stories like this can bring fans of all teams together. This is a great gesture by Mr. Woodley. So maybe today I will hate the steelers a little less.

  12. I was waiting to see how long it would take for some genius to blame unions for this.
    Nothing could be further from the truth. If you had ever spent any amount of time around a teacher you would know that they work incredibly long hours for s*#t pay. They spend tons of their own money on supplies for their classrooms and often get treated like dirt by parents who think their kids are gods gift to the earth.
    The woman makes 93,000 a year because she has 33 years of seniority. That’s how it works in the public and private sectors. You build up seniority and get raises and promotions based on your accomplishments and the amount of time you’ve been with the company.
    I bet crazyphatdude14 would be happy to work a job for his whole life and never get a raise or promotion though right?

  13. wouldn’t it be great if all athletes, or even half, made this same type of donation to the high school they attended to help out these struggling schools? The best part is that this probably happened months ago and just now is finding it’s way into the media. He didn’t want any recognition and that shows class. I’m still waiting for the ravenator’s response to this

  14. Great to hear. Lots of other guys in the league give their time and money too. Let’s not forget about them. Lots more need to step up into this sort of role as well.

  15. longtime ravens fan here, this was a wonderful think Woodley did, more players should step up and do something like this!

  16. to woodley: much props. a class gesture.

    to the commenters bashing teachers, salaries, and unions, go to some political site where you and your friends can complain about stuff you know nothing about without bothering football fans with it. anyone who knows anything knows that the wasted money in school systems in almost all in the administration, not the people who actually teach.

    if you haven’t realized it by now, the teachers unions are being made scapegoats by the politicians to divert attention from their complete inability to cut off the waste going to their political donors.

  17. This is significant because in my town of Medina, Ohio it is $600 per kid per sport to play high school sports. That is too damned high. I have been planning on going to the city council meetings to question why the cost is so high, see where the money goes and what could be done to lessen the burden on the parents of my city. Many parents simply tell their kids they cannot play, because if you have multiple kids talented in multiple sports you simply cannot afford it.

    Good job on Woodley stepping up, but these cities are going overboard with this pay to play crap IMO. When I was a kid 17 years ago all I had to do was show up to practice.

  18. I got a #56 Woodley home black last year…because this dude exemplifies Steeler football.

    He could lead the league in sacks…he was on pace for 16 before he got injured last year. The torch of great Steeler LBers has been passed!

    Awesome that he choose to give back so close to his roots.

  19. ps-the main reason why our schools in Michigan are facing budget shortfalls is a decrease in tax revenue which was brought on by the recession. More houses in foreclosure and more people out of work means a smaller tax base. Combine this with the fact that many people have decided to simply pack up and leave the state (even less taxpayers) and it shouldn’t be too difficult for anyone who actually wants to think critically and intelligently to understand why our schools are facing cuts.

  20. I may not be a Steelers fan, but I am now a LaMarr Woodley fan. Love to see type of thing. I wish more rich athletes would follow this guy’s example.

  21. Nice move Lamarr.

    But, this isn’t the first time an NFL player has stepped in to help a Michigan High School football program THIS YEAR. Earlier this year, Jahvid Best and Ndamukong Suh helped a team replace equipment that was stolen, and paid for it themselves.

    So for all of you who bash Ndamukong Suh, just remember he has a heart too.

  22. Any thumbs down on the comments above are
    a) Mistaken clicks, parallax errors – its ok – we forgive you. OR
    b) Severely juveline behaviors. Tell me 1 thing that is wrong about Woodley’s gesture

  23. Awesome! It’s really nice to hear about some of the good things that a number of players do that go under the radar.

  24. Coming from a Ravens fan, I am not a fan of some of the big-mouthed things Lamarr has said about my team here recently, but I respect the hell outta this guy as a player. I’ve said for years that even though they feed off of eachother as a tandem, Lamarr has 10x the potential that Harrison ever had and he seems to get better every year. Now I’ve got a reason to respect the guy off the field too. Quality player and man. Now just don’t expect anymore kind words from this direction, hahaha.

  25. Kudos Lamar! Hats off! Buy here is my problem with the entire situation. Why are we as PEOPLE/ AMERICANS, waiting and wanted professional athletes to use the money they earn to bail us out or build up a community. That’s really not his responsibility. I applaud all who so call give back. One life guard can save the entire beach! We as people need to step up to the plate as a society and handle our business. The responsibilities is our as a whole and government. Repub’s vs. Dems vs. T party. When will we’ve people for all people. Yet we call ourselves Patriotic. Hippocrates.

  26. I find it humorous that the same people who are congratulating him are the same ones who are going to be slandering him if he runs info financial trouble later in his life.

  27. Thumbs up, Lamarr!

    This is giving back to your community. I wish celebrities (actors & actresses, musicians, singers, etc) would also do the same thing.

    I am a Dolphins and Lamarr Woodley fan now.

    /TM.

  28. Great story about LaMarr helping kids! Wonderful gesture and nice job!

    Also, glad to see some rival fans can draw a line between their feelings for the Steelers in a football game and commenting on a great charity gesture that will help kids by a Steeler player. Nice job to all you as well.

  29. I am a Ravens fan, so I’m supposed to hate the Steelers…I can’t do it. Not when you see selfless acts like this. People when a role model in sports? Look to Mr. Woodley. Owners are worth Bazillions, and where are their stories like this? Next time the owners try to demonize the players, someone please bring this up.

  30. Wow, it’s nice to see someone actually give back to a community. $60,000 isn’t much in any of the players pockets and woodley is the only one that shows that he isn’t a selfish egotistical p.o.s. This country needs more ppl like that! You think any of these rich owners or c.e.o.’s would even think of doing something like that? Absolutely not!! They would rather buy another house or another yaht or another private jet. Nice to see there are some real human beings left that have money to help. As for the rest of you corporate fat cats, burn and rot in hell!

  31. It may not be woodley responsibility to bail any school out of money problems, but he unlike any of his fellow players gets that without us there is none of them. Just like the rich!

  32. Steeler fans have you noticed what raven troll has not commented about lamar’s good deed? It is nice to see people who hate the steelers having to swallow their pride and compliment such a good deed. I compliment you for putting your envy aside when lauding a good move by a member of a classy team. Haters hate

  33. Just became a big Woodley fan… just think if more celebrities did this kinda stuff… This country would be in much better shape…

  34. Woodley is one of the most humble athletes in pro sports. Anyone that follows him on his facebook sees that he’s always posting candid home photos & videos….it’s refreshing to see that he’s just a normal human being like everyone else, who just happens to be blessed with God given talents on the field.

    And a great gesture with the donation!

  35. Great to read about NFL players doing things like this to get in the news.
    Hats off to Woodley, even if he is a steeler and a wolverine from Saginasty.

  36. Hokie, James Harrison donates a lot of money to many causes. Get your facts straight before you slander someone. Just because he tackles harder then most are able, and plays the game with lot of passion does not make him a bad person. DISCLAIMER: FOOTBALL IS A CONTACT SPORT. THESE MEN GET PAID MILLIONS. Stop crying.

  37. Bravo to Mr. Woodley! Even as a Browns fan I have to give credit where it’s due.
    Being remembered as a “good man,” trumps anything else.

  38. Total waste of money – this is like giving money to a drunk. Our school systems are failing our children – especially minorities.

    More money is not the answer……the inflation adjusted $ per student is twice what it was 40 years ago….it’s the easy, but not correct answer.

    We have major social issues in this country – those are much harder to fix.

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