Minimum GPA for High School Athletes Too Low

David Parker, Sports Editor

High school student athletes have a few requirements that they must meet to be eligible to play sports.  However, maybe the most important of them all would be their grade point average.  Athletes’ GPA must be higher than a 2.0 or a C average.  A 2.0 is way too low, and it should be raised.

Playing a sport in high school is something that takes a lot of time, and it can be hard to make time to study and do homework, but it can be done.  The North Carolina High School Athletic Association (NCHSAA) is in charge of this GPA and have to power to change it.  They are holding student athletes to a low standard that is quite sad.  Athletes know they can get through high school by doing the bare minimum and still play sports; but when it comes to playing sports in college their GPAs would be way too low to get accepted into a college.

The NCHSAA should raise the minimum GPA to at least a 2.5 so the athletes will begin to focus more on school and not just athletics.  Having these student athletes’ GPAs raised by just half a point will help many of them get into college on an athletic scholarship.  

There are more requirements than just a GPA: you must pass English class and move onto

the next grade level.  And they have to pass a total of five classes throughout the year.  For student athletes at Athens Drive that means they could fail three classes and still play a sport.  If someone fails three classes, they should not be able to play in the upcoming season.  If it was up to me, I would make sure if an athlete fails one class, they should not be able to play a sport.

College coaches that talk to high school coaches that are looking to recruit a player always ask the same question.  They ask how their grades are.  If a coach hears that the player has less than a 2.5 or even a 3.0, they will not even consider to further the recruiting process.  I know this through my recruiting experience.  My team’s head coach first question was about my grades, and even though my GPA is higher than a 3.0, he still wanted to push me to get it nearly a 4.0.  All the time I hear these guys say how bad they want to play at the college level but cannot due to their low GPAs.  It is almost sad to think that these players have so much talent but throw it all away by not working hard in the classroom.

However, I see why people think it is a bad idea to make the GPA requirement higher or change the amount of classes they must pass because they think that not enough people will play sports.  If student athletes really cared about the sport they play then they would work really hard to maintain the GPA they require to play the sport.  But the major question is: What is more important, academics or athletics?  Most people would say academics because that is what gets students into a good college and that is then what gets someone a respectable job.

Raising the GPA requirement would force athletes that really care about the sport to focus more on school instead of the sport they play.  The NCHSAA should consider raising the minimum GPA for student athletes to play sports because it would force the athletes to focus more on their school work instead of just the sport they play.