The Columbus Comets are categorized as a professional women’s football team. They were promised a salary, but when seven years have passed and the promise still empty, they have quite holding their breath. Many of the girls have quite playing. Holding jobs, and paying to attend practices and play games, just hasn’t done much for player retention.
Carolyn O’Leary, 43-years-old, however, has not given up. She is nearly twice as old as her teammates, but the offensive-guard is hard hitting and devoted.
“People come and go,” said Carolyn. “When you’re not paid and the commitment is so great, you sometimes have to make decisions about what you’re going to spend your time on.”
The Comets have enjoyed six winning seasons and until the playoffs, were undefeated last year. Last season, after the dissolution of the National Women’s Football League, the Comets joined 40 other teams in the new Women’s Football Alliance. The WFA is a non-profit organization and as a result, most players pay about $350 a season instead of more than $1,000 in past leagues.
“For me, it’s worth it (to pay) because I get to play the sport I’ve loved since I was a child,” Carolyn said.