Coaching – A View From the Sidelines

Low Academic Performance = No Sports?
March 15, 2009, 5:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Where do I start on this one?  Low Test Scores = No Sports for a school.

I moan and complain about how the attitude of my athletes is towards academics, BUT they understand that they have to pass to play.  They understand that they have to make a certain grade to be promoted.  Why are they going to punish the athletes, when they are the ones that are doing everything they are supposed to be doing to be eligible?  The athletes have always understood that they are held to a higher standard than others.  They haven’t always liked it, but they understand and accept it.

In my school their are 530 students.  We will have 125 returning athletes in the fall of 2009.  If the person behind this bill gets what they want, it will punish the quarter of the students that work hard all the time to maintain their eligibility.  What about the 405 non-athletes?  They are not losing anything, except the chance to watch the athletic events.

What are we telling our kids then?  Spend more time studying!  Make sure you go to tutoring when it is offered!  Like I have said before, I am all for high standards…But if you tell a set of kids that they are unable to play a sport, there are some that would no longer be in high school.  Is that what this bill is trying to accomplish?  Get the kids out of school that can’t hack it?  Isn’t that going against anything and everything that we have ever taught our kids?  We tell our kids that if they want something bad enough they are going to have to fight for it.  What is going to happen if this goes through?  Those kids will be out doing things they aren’t supposed to be doing.  That seems sort of counter productive doesn’t it?

I preach to my athletes all the time….GET YOUR GRADES RIGHT!  For both graduating and athletic purposes.  They hear it and believe it.  They understand now after hearing Harold Robinson talk.  He hit some nerves and made some kids feel uncomfortable.  I was so happy that they felt that way.  It means that they do care.   Isn’t that why we push them?  Isn’t that how we want them to feel?

What are your thoughts?  How would you feel if this bill was brought forth in your state?

Would love to see your comments.


3 Comments so far
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What gets me is the double standard when compared to other kids and bad grades. I can’t count the number times have I wanted to yank a kid off the Choir, Band or Drama trip that is taking place during the class day….a class that they are failing! Punishment should be fair and equal no matter the activity after school. Education is a must in today’s society; extra curricular are “EXTRA!”

Comment by chad brannon

Great point, Chad.

While there should definitely be clear and straightforward standards and rules about needing certain academic level to play, I think that those standards need to be realistic.

Setting benchmarks that need to be achieved is the easy way out as an administrator, but clear guidelines can ensure that extracurricular activities (sports, drama or otherwise) motivate a student to achieve, not get in the way of that.

Comment by Brian Manning

If I read that right, this bill wants the entire school to perform better in order to keep sports, not just the athletes? What??? My reaction is not quite fit for print. Not only are sports the only thing that keep some kids in school, sports are often the only way some kids receive any positive feedback. It is often the only carrot we have to maintain any level of academic effort. There are many types of intelligence and team sports certainly address those intelligences. Similar to an artist, whose intelligences can’t be measured in concrete terms, an athlete often possesses skills that are difficult to measure. I am just as horrified at the thought of losing athletics as I would be of losing art programs.
Just in case anyone wonders, I am a parent of 3 boys, I sent them to a private school where sports are mandatory. They were already good students. The life lessons that are learned in team sports are irreplaceable. In fact, when my oldest son was interviewing for his current job (on wall street), he asked the recruiter what qualities they valued in an potential employee. The recruiter replied, first, we want at least a 3.0 average, second, we look for individuals who have participated in team activities. He further clarified by stating that team sports and other team activities teach individuals how to work together and balance responsibilities.
My vote..keep the sports, keep the eligibility rules, value the student!

Comment by Kim

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