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Athletics Staff Discuss GPA Requirement

Nick Otis and Cole Cahoon

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If you go around the hallways at Stamford High School and ask people what the school GPA requirement is for student athletes, a large majority of individuals would have no idea.  Per CIAC policy, student athletes must pass four classes in order to be eligible to compete. Here at Stamford High, the eligibility policy includes the CIAC-mandated four passed classes, as well as a minimum GPA of 1.0.  However, if a student has a GPA of over 1.0, but lower than 1.7, they must attend “Knightlife,” a tutoring program provided by the school to student athletes, three times a week for a minimum of 45 minutes. A signed note from a teacher proving that a student stayed after school with them could take place of one Knightlife session, as long as the student stayed for at least 45 minutes.  Students with GPA’s of between 1.7 and 2.3 are recommended to utilize the Knightlife program, but there is no requirement. Students who have over a 2.3 are free to fully participate in athletics, with no Knightlife attendance required.

 

We spoke to several athletic officials and coaches around the school to get their opinion on our existing eligibility requirement.  Athletic Director Chris Passamano said he plans to raise the GPA requirement in the future, but added, “It will take some time before any changes take place.”  When asked if he had a higher GPA in mind, he said, “I think a 2.0 GPA or “C” average would be a great GPA to shoot for.”

Jeremy White, a teacher and girls’ basketball coach at Stamford High, as well as lacrosse coach at Greenwich High School brought up the debate of how other after school activities do not have minimum GPA requirements like athletics do when asked for his opinion on the athletic GPA policy.  White said, “The GPA requirement is not specific to all after school activities. Other activities such as drama and debate do not have minimum GPA requirements and this shows how athletes are held to higher standards than participants in other activities.”

However, White did add that he thinks a lot of athletes benefit from having a minimum GPA requirement as it “gives student-athletes an incentive to keep their grades up” and he also added “a higher minimum GPA of 1.7 or 2.0 would make athletes work harder, therefore being beneficial to the students.”  

Boys’ Volleyball coach Sheena Carpenter and Softball coach Melissa Giordano both thought that a higher minimum GPA requirement should be implemented. Giordano said the “Student part of student athlete should be emphasized, therefore a higher GPA would lead to higher achievement among athletes.”

Carpenter, who played volleyball in college recommends that the minimum GPA should be raised to a 2.3, as “We are currently setting student athletes up for failure if they continue their careers into collegiate athletics where the GPA requirement is 2.3.”

Stamford High Baseball coach Rit Lacomis commented, “I think it’s fair if all the schools in the state are using the same rule.  However, if [the students] are around that GPA, they should be more focused on their academics.” Lacomis added that this minimum GPA should be set at 2.0, which is a higher requirement than the state mandates.

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Athletics Staff Discuss GPA Requirement