If You Don’t Have the Grades, You Don’t Play.

Is lowering the GPA required to play sports in high school, the smart choice?

Many high schools in the United States are now lowering the GPA required to be eligible to play a certain sport in high school. For example, Boston’s The English High School required a GPA of 2.5 to be eligible to play, has now lowered their requirement to 1.67. This is a drastic change, but is it the smart thing to do? It goes unsaid that many athletes study just to keep their GPA high enough to play, it is a motivation for a large percentage of students. Lowering the GPA to standards that are easier to meet just eliminates motivation to achieve high grades.

Keeping in mind that high school is just another stepping stone in the education path, we need to think about what is next, and that is college. The higher the GPA of the student the higher the chances are to get into any desirable college. The GPA required just varies by what specific college the student desires to attend. With that being said, we lower the GPA and that equals diminishing the amount of colleges these athletes can attend to. According to cbsnews.com only 2% of high school athletes receive sports scholarships at NCAA colleges and universities. So what are we lowering the GPA for? To help out that 2% and leave the 98% with low GPA’s and not having a desire to be a competitive student with the rest of the competition for the universities.

It is known that sports are an escape for many students, especially those who struggle in the academic department. If there can be a middle ground found, it would be ideal for those athletes who can’t quite make the GPA but who are exceptional in athleticism. The middle ground would be to maintain a high GPA for those who can achieve it and just need a little incentive to achieve it. But for those who simply cannot due to them or background, I believe and excellent agreement would be to hold extra classes after-hours to achieve credit recovery or to work on GPA requirements. That way the motivation is not lost and what is asked of the students is not made easier but that the original goal has chances of being achieved by more methods that make the student happy and the high school at a high standard.

Another very big issue that ties in with the issue of maintaining grades and playing sports is the career life span an athlete actually has. At any moment, an athlete can have an accident on the field, court etc. If it is serious enough, the career is over. Nobody wants to pay for an athlete that cannot perform the way the team and commissioners need. With this in mind, if the GPA gets lowered in order to help a certain superstar player to get a scholarship and go on with his career, but he gets injured in a play and looses it all. His grades cannot be his back up anymore because they weren’t at a minimum for the university this person wanted. Grades and athletics have to be hand in hand and used as a back up due to the high risk there is in just focusing and relying on sports alone.

This risk is much higher, although hard to believe; in high school because there are never any guarantees an in high school there is no pay. When in the big leagues for example, there is a contracting there is a high number in the salary. NFL athletes can make up to 27 million dollars at a certain time, which is more than enough to be secured in case of an injury. In high school, you are just trying to make it, trying to make a name out of yourself to be able to get to those big bucks. This is why at this stage, the risk is so high and the students should not only depend on the talent they have but on their academic ability as well. It is up to the high schools to not change the GPA required, it is up to them to impose a high grade value and credit value on the students. Sports is a great part of education, and psychologically important overall, but high schools have a duty to push students to have better grades, not lower standards to make students more comfortable and take away the pressure of achieving high GPAs.

Dailyprogress.com describes a concern where the parents are involved. many of them concerned with the fact that there has to be a GPA requirement. What? That is the whole point of going to high school, and attending any school in general, the first priority is the academics. Again I say, it is up to the high school to make this a priority and to impose this GPA standard. And it is also up to the high school to keep the parents informed, as they are the ones in charge of the students and have a great influence on them. Keeping this in mind, both the parents and the faculty have the obligation to keep up the standards and push the student body to a higher standard concerning their academic profile.

 The whole issue about if there should be a standard or not, for me, really raises an ethical question. Wouldn’t raising standards require work ethic, dedication and seriousness?

-Dailyprogress.com, Roger Gonzalez

In conclusion, the idea and purpose of school, should never be lost. And the pride and joy of the game. It is a mix that ha inevitably taken over the education world, but it is also a mix that cannot be confused or modified in a way that hurts the students and society as a whole. The motivation of always bettering your academic profile should always excel, and the love of the game should influence those capacities. Sports and academics are two very different things, but when used wisely and mixed, it creates geniuses.

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