The gentleman’s D

Colleen Kane has an excellent story in Chi Trib about high school athletes as non-academic.

One number won’t light up the high school scoreboard this school year: 1.0.

That’s the grade-point average on a 4.0 scale that a high school athlete could carry and still score for his or her team this fall, according to state standards.

Some schools require more than that. 

“To put out a team of athletes that are able to have five Ds and three Fs — that’s putting athletics before academics,” Evanston [HS] associate athletic director Dan Vosnos said.

Some do.

“Kids want to be involved in something. And the gangs don’t have a grade-point average,” Proviso East athletic director Andrew Johnson said.

It’s a common problem.

“To be honest, if many of the kids in our schools didn’t have something to look forward to — which in some cases is one or two sports — they wouldn’t come to school,” [nearby] Leyden athletic director Randy Conrad said.

Proviso’s Johnson tried to change things there, where the state’s minimum applies.

Within the last five years, Proviso East had a 2.0 GPA requirement, causing a stir among some parents and coaches. The administration changed back to the IHSA standard when it decided it was losing too many athletes.

“We had a 2.0, but we had no support,” Johnson said.

“Some parents and [some?] coaches” had their way, and so it goes.  Community standards prevail.  The school becomes a sort of anti-delinquency program, slipping back to a common (low) denominator.