Relationship between success in the classroom and on the field

I am writing to you today to inform you of the constant struggle of student athletes in the modern age concerning being able to both get good grades and thrive in sports.

I am a student athlete, and growing up I was always told that school comes first. Although there are some student athletes that rely solely on their athletic ability to get into college, in order to get a scholarship they are also going to need to get good enough grades to stay in school. With the rising requirements of grades in the NCAA, students are not only going to have to strive on the field, but also in the classroom. This is why high school athletes should have to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA if they want to stay in school sports. It is evident that there are copious reasons why student athletes should always focus on succeeding in the classroom first rather than on the field.

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First of all, according to the NCAA, there are around eight million high school students involved in their schools athletics. Out of those eight million athletes, only 460,000 of them will go on to compete in the NCAA with only a small fraction of those 460,000 going on to play professionally. The odds are very slim to become a professional so for all the athletes that didn’t get good grades in high school and didn’t Go Pro, what’s next? It states in a new york daily news article since 2011 “To obtain athletic eligibility out of high school, students will need a minimum GPA of 2.3” (Walder 2).

If a student athlete wants to take their athletic career to the next level, they are going to need to also have success in the classroom. There are many student athletes that think they may have what it takes to move to the next level athletically, but the real question is do they have what it takes to move to the next level academically? It is supported by many current athletes and people concerned with the topic that if an athlete wants to pursue a career in sports, they will first have to meet all of the academic requirements. Alex Trautmann, who is currently a professional athlete, says “If a kids able to do both–work hard and maintain in the classroom and on the field– he shouldn’t have to compete with somebody who is one-sided” (Lavigne 4). This is a man who has already made it to a professional level in his sport and still supports the fact that athletes who focus on both the field and in the classroom shouldn’t have to fight for spots against someone who focuses solely on their sports career. Another man named Conttrell Curry, who is a high school football player, explained how the lessons he learned from playing football helped him to improve his GPA. Curry is a prime example of how every athlete has the potential to improve their grades, it’s just that some choose to focus more on sports and less on school.

After seeing this pattern, a member of the Almanac-Burlington Board of Education questioned how they could drop the GPA requirements if it is allowing kids to focus less on school. If the athletes don’t have a reason to work hard in the classroom, why would they work at all? With a GPA standard set in the school, the athletes would take some time off of playing sports and hit the books. Although there are many schools that do have a set GPA requirement, for the ones who don’t , the consequences are clearly shown. A prime example of this would be in the town of Rockford who after dropping the GPA rule began to see increases in crime, unemployment, and poverty. Only a very slim portion of the school will move on in their athletic careers, leaving those who don’t with nothing to do, causing some of them to live a life of crime and poverty.

Also some of the towns who dropped the standard may have seen an increase in talent on the field, but also these schools saw an increase in penalties and coaches were confronted with more of a challenge when disciplining players. The fact that these students are able to behave in such an awful manner in the classroom is also shown when they step on to the field. Lastly, for the schools who have dropped the GPA requirements, many of them will fail to reach the NCAA GPA requirement of a 2.3. These athletes may be able to cruise through high school without trying in school but once they reach college, they either have to step up academically or they can’t play.

In conclusion, the evidence clearly shows that a GPA requirement should be input in all schools around the country in order to make students athletes focus more in the classroom. There is a very small chance for athletes to continue their careers after high school, so they should be getting their grades up in order to be prepared for whatever happens. With a GPA as low as a 2.0 or even lower, athletes who don’t get scholarships may have a hard time finding a college and even a job later on in life. They must be prepared early so they can have many different options in case their athletic career doesn’t work out.

Therefore, high school athletes should have to maintain at least a 2.0 GPA if they stay in school sports. Thank you for taking the time to read this, it is very important for your organization to keep pushing for athletes to reach their full capabilities both in the classroom and on the field.