Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools has been no stranger to controversy in recent weeks. And now they have made another decision some could consider controversial. Tuesday the CMS School board voted 7-2 to suspend a rule that requires student-athletes to maintain a 2.0 gpa to play sports. At this time the change is only for Fall 2021 and is due to the challenging academic year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
ICYMI: CMS suspends rule requiring student-athletes to maintain 2.0 GPA this fall.— Gina Esposito (@GinaWSOC9) July 15, 2021
The head football coach at West Charlotte said if that didn’t happen- they wouldn’t have a JV team this fall. @wsoctv https://t.co/gf4MPGBtFF
The idea was brought to Superintendent Earnest Winston by board member Rhonda Cheek. “We’ve made it really tough for those kids to be academically successful, and we need to pour all of our energy into making them academically successful this fall so that they can meet requirements for the spring,” Cheek told WSOC-TV. The head football coach at West Charlotte said that he wouldn’t have had enough players for a JV team without the suspension of the rule. While the decision passed it was not unopposed. Sean Strain for one did not support the decision. He believes that while the situation was difficult the bar does not need to be lowered.
I have to agree with this point of view. I did not participate in high school sponsored athletics but I participated heavily in out-of-school activities and was a part of an athletic team in college. I was taught from a young age that school came first and that if my grades slipped those privileges would be taken away. If students are struggling to maintain a 2.0 GPA, which is a fairly low threshold, to begin with, then IMO they don’t need to be adding something else to their plate. I am a strong advocate for sports and the benefits they provide, however, most of these athletes will not be professionals and will need the skills learned in school to be successful. This should be one of those lessons. I would have been more supportive of a program that maybe didn’t take into account the previous semester’s grades but still held them accountable for their grades in the fall semester. Many kids are focused solely on athletics, and these GPA requirements keep them engaged in school so that they are eligible to play.
School leaders have no made a decision on how this will impact spring sports.
Do you think CMS athletes should have to maintain a certain GPA to play shorts?