Harford Co. High School Refuses NFL Players’ Donation For Football Scoreboard

BALTIMORE (WJZ)– A donation from two professional football players is turned down by one Harford County high school.

It’s a move rarely made by school leaders, but Gigi Barnett explains why they said, “No, thank you.”

Aberdeen High School’s football scoreboard is old and outdated.

“The blue is dull, lights are missing. It doesn’t fit in,” Colin Stewart, an Aberdeen High School student, said.

“When we’re watching the games, my friends are like, ‘What’s the score?’ and we don’t know because we can’t see it,” said Julian Cortez, an Aberdeen High School student.

A new scoreboard costs at least $50,000.

The school thought its scoreboard dilemma was done when Minnesota Viking players and brothers E.J. and Erin Henderson offered to foot $20,000 of the bill.

Aberdeen is their alma mater and in exchange for the gift they wanted their family name on the new scoreboard.

But this week, Harford County’s school leaders turned the offer down.

In a written statement to WJZ, school spokeswoman Teri Kranefeld wrote: “The Harford County Board of Education rejected the scoreboard installation proposal based on the current advertising policy parameters.”

That means no family names on public school property.

“It’s like a slap in the face, honestly,” Erin Henderson said. “Here we are thinking we can try to do something big, trying to give back to the community. Trying to do something positive to help out the people who helped us out in different ways when we were growing up and coming up. And we saw this opportunity.”

The next step now is the brothers get their money back. Erin Henderson said he and his brother originally planned to rehab the entire field starting with the scoreboard. But that is no longer a goal for them.

School leaders say they will begin raising money for a new scoreboard from corporate sponsors.


One Comment

  1. Buffalo Soldier says:

    Why is the baseball field name Ripken stadium.

    1. Dinger says:

      Because the Ripken family built it and owns it.

      1. John Frank says:

        They may have built it, but the city owns it. Google it.

    2. SMH says:

      It isn’t public school property.

      1. John Frank says:

        Forgive me if I am wrong, but isn’t that a PUBLIC high school?

  2. Louise says:

    Sad, so sad. We cannot honor some hometown guys who made it big, by putting their family name on a Scoreboard??? Come on, Harford County. Such a shame and a waste!!! Try raising money. I wouldn’t help you out, when you cannot honor two hometown guys wanting to do something special for their alma mater! Shame on you Board of Ed!!!

    1. Madonna says:

      My sentiments completely. These two are success stories that the students and town can be proud to have their names in print – at least as important as the new Scoreboard! This should be a win-win. What is wrong with those small minded volunteers on the Board of Ed who can’t accept a gift. If you’re that stuck in your own little power trip; you deserve nothing, but again it’s the kids who pay!

  3. Bill says:

    Or… if the Henderson’s are/were so focused on “giving back to the community where they grew up, they shouldn’t be so focused on their name being on the board.

    1. Madonna says:

      Why not – I’d want the kids to know I was there too and I cared enough to help those following me.

  4. Chris says:

    The Henderson’s suck… you suck, give back to the community and let it be. Do something nice for a change without seeking glory… what’s $20,000 dollars to you anyway… it’s nothing compared to the average citizen. Fans pay your paycheck. With out fans you’re nothing!

    1. John Frank says:

      Idiot, who in their right minds would give $20,000+ without some form of notation on the field? Build a building, name goes on it, build a side walk, name goes on it, change the lives of THOUSANDS of children, hell yeah, put their names on it. And for the record, GO RAVENS! <in case there was any doubt.

  5. Mark says:

    “The Harford County Board of Education rejected the scoreboard installation proposal based on the current advertising policy parameters.”


    How did Coca-Cola get its name on the current scoreboard?

  6. John Frank says:

    With all due respect on both sides in this matter, the scoreboard currently displays a quite large advertisement reading “Enjoy Coca-Cola” on it as big as it says the school’s name. Personally I think if someone is going to replace the rusted fences, the tattered signs, scoreboard, and fix whatever other issues you have on your school’s field, how about removing the unhealthy soda pop sign, and honoring the 2 brothers DONATING tens of thousands into possibly hundreds of thousands to you and your students as well as fans, rules can be changed you know? There is no advertisement in a name, just knowledge that the donators do not play for your home NFL team, and personally I find it very unfair to the kids in this entire school district that this would even be an issue.

    And as far as The Ripken Family goes, I think they already have already been honored with a minor league field with their name on it in the same exact town. Ripken Stadium home of The Aberdeen IronBirds. Also, as far as I am aware, I do not think the Ripkens are donating a new field to Aberdeen High School.

    1. SMH says:

      And as far as The Ripken Family goes, I think they already have already been honored with a minor league field with their name on it in the same exact town. Ripken Stadium home of The Aberdeen IronBirds. They OWN the field.

      1. RIP says:

        They own the field and the City of Aberdeen is paying for most of it, LOSING millions of dollars. SMFH! on you

      2. John Frank says:

        Actually no they don’t. Look up Ripken Stadium, you will find it displayed like this:
        Owner City of Aberdeen. Thanks and have a pleasant day.

  7. Michele says:

    Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t C. Milton Wright High School named after someone???

    1. Lea Grace says:

      c-milton was also built before our current super was in office or whatever(I don’t like him personally but that’s just me I liked the other one before him )

  8. Lea Grace says:

    c-milton was also built before our current super was in office or whatever(I don’t like him personally but that’s just me I liked the other one before him )
    and ripken little leauge filed isn’t a little leauge field they just hold the little leauge world series there .Havre De grace and someother city(who I can’t remember they just joined a few yrs ago) have the only little leauges in the county (true fact lol) plus little leauge fields aren’t SCHOOL property
    and coke isn’t a FAMILY name it says that the policy states that family names can’t be on public SCHOOL property
    I don’t disagree with you at all with the coke thing it’s stupid
    I was just correcting you 🙂

  9. smdh says:

    smdh…havre de grace high schools feild is named james harris stadium or something like that, so whats wrong with naming aberdeens feilds after these 2 brothers? i mean really whats the prob? school board says they will get corporate sponsers,r they not gonna want there name on te fi\eild or on whatever they finance…again in havre de grace isnt the company name of cytech on there scoreboard?

    1. Note... says:

      I believe the operative words were “current advertising parameters”. C. Milton Harris was, presumably, named prior to the institution of said parameters.

    2. Lea Grace says:

      our new field was built again before our current super was in office (or whatever) and Cytech isn’t a family name (I don’t understand why they have such a problem with family names on buildings now) and our old field (we have two football fields I asume you have been to or go to hhs) was names after him 1st then our new one got built… but what i don’t understand is now that we got new turf on our field we have the buy a brick thing where you can put names on the entrance coming in because a bunch of kids baught one for mike sawyer last year……. I dont agree with the policy I’m just saying

  10. Cheryl Stotler Miller says:

    what do you know. they looked the gift horse in the mouth and turned it away to help the school. In all the places I have been Peoples names are on everything they donate for. Example, in Colorado Springs at Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. They were building a wolf enclosure. They sold bricks with the name of the person that donated. The brick then was faced building or bricked floor with the names. So what the heck. Two football players that earn more money than most of us ever will. They want to improve the field and all they wanted was a place for their name, The Alumni giving back to where they got their start. Sheesh. Maybe the school administers are too full of pride to accept a “handout”. What a crazy move.

  11. STEVE says:


  12. Larry says:

    We finally get some NFL players who want to give back to the community where they were raised and they get slapped on the face by a technicality. OK for Coke of Pepsi to have their name on the high school score board but not high school alumni. Truly idiotic!!

  13. larry says:

    Joe Paterno’s name is on a school library. I have no problem with that either. Weinberg eye clinic. No problem. Ripken stadium. No problem.

  14. Jimbo says:

    But it’s OK that on the old one the local CBS affiliate has the CBS logo on it. It’s all politics, And there’s nothing more I hate than Politics.

    1. Jimbo says:

      OOps thats the TV pic… Can’t see the whole board on that pc.

    2. Jimbo says:

      Ops thats the TV pic… Can’t see the whole board on that pc.

  15. JQP says:

    Personally, i think the two parties are caught up in foolishness. The Hendrrsons are showing a distinct lack of character in their insistence that the school advertise their names on the board and the school board is displaying their lack of flexibility. I mean, really? A bunch of adults that can’t sit down and come up with a compromise that feeds the athlete’s egos while maintaining policy standards? Really? I bet that the people in this forum could come up with something in 10 minutes!

    Here’s an idea, why don’t they come up with an extracurricular mural project where the students can honor all of the people who have contributed to the school and the success of the students? Or the school could develop a program where outstanding alumni that have given something back to the school are honored in a special place within the school?….kind of like the athletes trophy case. Just some thoughts.

  16. ALG says:

    I bet the kids could figure this out. Great (not really) example adults.

  17. queen says:

    All of you including those two jitterbugs the Henderson’s can go fuc yourselves. It’s all about the money & publicity.

  18. Legend says:

    i mean it seems like they want the fame that comes with charity. They did a good thing and want to be acknowledged for it. your already famous. What good would having your name on a score board do?

  19. ddm says:

    I am not from the area or have never been there. I would think that since it is a school and town issue that they would put a vote on it by the students and towns people, due to the fact that we as a society are letting a handful of people control matters that makes an impact on many. And if the school board was going to handle the situation to begin with what is taking them so long.

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