Proposed MCPS policy allows freshman to play sports regardless of grades

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The proposed MCPS policy would allow more freshman to play on their school sports teams.

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Recent deliberations in the MCPS Policy Management committee recommended that all high school freshmen become eligible to play sports regardless of their grades. This conclusion comes after the board discussed the current policy of maintaining a 2.0 GPA in order to play any school sport along with the lack of student inclusion in MCPS sports.

The current MCPS policy allows freshmen to play sports regardless of grades up to the end of the first quarter. Afterwards, students must maintain at least a 2.0 GPA and be failing no more than one class.

Many members of the community believe that if this proposed policy is implemented, it would devalue the importance of education and grades in Montgomery County — a county known for its academic excellence.

Junior boys’ basketball player Philip Stubin took a dissenting viewpoint on the policy recommendation.

“Personally, I think that the grading system is already very lenient. A 2.0 GPA just to play sports is a very low standard and I think that not counting grades at all is not a good idea,” Stubin said.

Junior girls’ lacrosse player Emma Richardell sees both the benefit and the cost in implementing the recommended policy.

“I think it’s good that it’s allowing freshmen to play regardless of their grades, but I think it can be bad because they don’t worry about their grades. There’s no incentive to worry about grades [with the new policy],” Richardell said.

WJ varsity football coach Larry Hurd Jr. expressed disappointment and dissatisfaction with the policy recommendation but offered a different approach to resolving the absence of student engagement.

“I think there are other ways that we can work on the issue [of athletic engagement] rather than making it any student allowed no matter what GPA they have. One solution that I believe could work is if a student doesn’t meet the eligibility then allow that student to practice with the team,” Hurd Jr. said.

On the other hand, WJ Athletic Director Tom Rogers offers a supportive view to the proposed policy.

“I think the logic behind the proposal is to give those kids a chance to participate throughout their freshman year as they adjust to high school because they have a harder time with high school academics. I’m in favor of it,” Rogers said.

Along with recommending the removal of eligibility requirements for sports, the committee also recommended the removal of requirements for academic clubs throughout MCPS.

Currently, the full MCPS board is yet to vote on any changes which, if passed, will be implemented during the 2020-2021 school year.

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