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Aberdeen High School’s football scoreboard is old and outdated.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