By: Jonathan Kermah
High school athletes graduating after the year 2015 who plan to play varsity sports in college might need to work a bit harder in school than before. Recently the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) changed the academic requirements for high school students who plan to play Division I sports.
The biggest change in requirements is an increase from a 2.0 GPA (grade point average) to a 2.3 GPA. This changes it from a C average to a C+. By increasing it, grades become more of a priority.
Although the GPA requirements changed, 16 is still the required number of completed courses. Four years of English, three years of math, two years of physical science, two years of social science, and an additional year of math, science, or English are the key classes required.
There is one small tweak to the course requirements; students are expected to have 10 courses completed by their seventh semester with seven of them in math, science or English. With the new requirements, athletes have to address their core academic classes with more urgency and can’t wait until the last semester to complete a majority of their classes.
AHS accepted the Common Core a few years ago. The graduation requirements are: four years of English (English I, II, III, and IV), four years of Math (including Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II), four years of Science (including Physics, Biology, and Chemistry four years of History, including United States History for all juniors), two years of Foreign Language, ten credits of PE/Health (2.5 credits each year), and five credits of Art.
“I believe this [the new requirements] is a positive change because the NCAA needs to put an emphasis on academics [for the student-athlete],” said AHS coach and athletic director Mr. Mark Houle.
What many young high school athletes don’t realize is that such a small percentage of college athletes go on to play professional sports. In 2012, other than baseball players, less than two percent of college athletes continue to play their sport professionally according to Business Insider.
By raising the required GPA, athletes may understand that college isn’t just about playing sports. Seeing that most players don’t play professionally, and aren’t paid by colleges, the only real way to take advantage of the opportunity is to earn a degree.
Currently Attleboro High School athletes are attending Division II and III schools, but maybe that will change in the future.