Board Mulls Higher Gpa For Athletes


March 04, 1992|By Pat O'Malley

As we get into another batch of "Q's and A's," let's focus on two important items, academics and sportsmanship. Remember, any "Q's" or answers you have are always welcome on the 24-Hour Sportsline, 647-2499.

* Isn't it good news to learn that the 1.67 grade-point average requirement for extracurricular activities is not etched in stone andthat the school board is looking at ways to raise it?

How about this idea from school board member Tom Twombly?

"We're looking at a weighted scale for grade-point averages," said Twombly, who is a known advocate of the 2.00 GPA for student-athletes.

The weighted GPA perhaps would encourage taking advanced placement course and certainly not punish those who did. Where a student may fall down in a regular course, he might make up for it in his overall GPA by doing well in an accelerated course.

Private schools, such as Archbishop Spalding, St. Mary's and Severn, use the weighted grading system with great success. Thus, when you look each year at some of the private school members of the Anne Arundel County Sun Academic-Athletic Team and see GPAs over 4.00, but never anything above 4.00 from public school students, you understand.

"Sports is a privilege, not a right," said Twombly.

* How about these numbers from Arundel High School and Principal Ken Catlin? Of 274 fall-season student-athletes 131 (48 percent) had a GPA of 3.0 or better, and 88 earned a 3.25or better and a Minds in Motion certificate.

In the winter sportsseason, 88 of a possible 196 (45 percent) had a 3.00 or better with 57 at 3.25 or up. That's nearly 50 percent of the student-athletes at3.00 or better for the entire first semester.

"Student-athletes at Arundel are doing just fine, thank you," wrote Catlin in his "Principal's Newsletter," referring to widespread concerns on academics andathletics.

* By the way, have you outstanding student-athletes filed your Anne Arundel County Sun All-County Academic-Athletic Team applications? Are you aware that the deadline for entry is March 20 andthat we don't intend to extend it?

The Academic-Athletic Team honors the top 12 boys and 12 girls who excel in the classroom while playing high school sports. A banquet in conjunction with the Anne Arundel Trade Council is planned in May to honor them.

* With its emphasis on sportsmanship and respect, is it any wonder that athletes at St. Mary's and Severn schools almost always conduct themselves in orderly fashion?

Shouldn't the Merrill Lynch company and representative Richard Hans be commended for sponsoring National Sportsmanship Dayat St. Mary's yesterday?

With such quality people as Principal Sister Phyllis, vice principal and lacrosse coach Jim Moorhead, Athletic Director Carmine Blades and others at St. Mary's running the school, isn't it easy to understand why the school has such an impeccable reputation for sportsmanship?

"We don't put up with disorderly behavior," said Sister Phyllis yesterday after I had the privilege of being on a panel of speakers who addressed a school assembly. "We removethe problem immediately."

Moorhead said that goes for the parents, too. Anyone, student, fan or parent who becomes unruly and unsportsmanlike is told to leave the playing area.

"We don't allow anyone to be disrespectful or cause trouble. They know when they come in ourgym or to our playing field, they have to conduct themselves properly if they want to stay," said Moorhead.

Isn't the difference between St. Mary's and the public schools one of crowd control, the fact that Sister Phyllis, Moorhead and administrators truly run the school?

How many times have you watched a game this year at one of the county public high schools and seen one or all of the following -- fanswalking right out onto the court while play is going on; obscene chants and gestures by the student fans at each other; going over to theother school's side and taunting; and totally ignoring any and all orders from the public address announcer or teacher to stop or take a seat?

Are the administrators, and even the county police who watchthe games scared to enforce school policy for fear of repercussion? Why require chaperones when we let the students and fans do what theywant anyway?

* Can you believe that Bonnie Lang, a commissioner of women's officials who was on the speakers' panel yesterday at St. Mary's, told me afterward that "coaches should never argue with officials, not say anything"?

Is this woman for real? Does she realize that people are human and that adults have a tendency to disagree fromtime to time? As long as the argument doesn't get out of hand physically or verbally, doesn't a coach have a right to fight for his team as long as the players don't get involved?

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