Muskegon debates athlete GPA

MUSKEGON, Mich. - It would cost an additional $50,000 in tutoring to keep all Muskegon High School athletes eligible to play if the district required them to carry a 2.0 grade point average, according to The Muskegon Chronicle.

A committee of the school board tabled a policy that would have set the minimum athlete GPA at 2.0, The Chronicle said, expressing concerns that the district can't afford it. Superintendent Colin Armstrong has said the district will need to cut $6 million from its budget next year.

"Should we be implementing something we can't afford to implement?" board Vice President Kevin Donovan asked at a committee meeting, according to The Chronicle.

The minimum GPA originally was proposed by board trustee Charles Nash, who has said that current policy fails athletes by allowing them to earn four D-minus grades and flunk two other classes and still play sports, The Chronicle reported. Muskegon and most local schools follow Michigan High School Athletic Association rules that require a student to earn 20 credit hours — or pass about four classes — the previous semester of school, the report said.

Muskegon offers extra tutoring already in the form of after-school help, summer school and credit recovery classes, but those costs would be doubled if the minimum GPA took effect, according to The Chronicle.

The Muskegon Chronicle, "Proposed minimum GPA for Muskegon High School athletes tabled," Feb. 11, 2009

Michigan Education Report, "New high school graduation requirements in action," May 6, 2008