Springfield's Memorial Medical Center and HSHS St. John's Hospital will stop providing athletic trainers for area high schools by this summer because of the state budget holdup.
Reports indicate the hospitals will end the 30-year tradition because the state is $130 million behind in paying bills for the state's group health insurance program.
Dr. Charles Lucore is St. John's chief executive officer. He says the budget crisis "is causing all of us to make difficult decisions."
The decision affects eight area high schools and their major sports programs - including football.
The Illinois High School Association doesn't require trainers to be at games or practices. But high schools have come to count on them.