High percentage of student athletes maintain their academic eligibility to participate in fall and winter sports

Bar set for academic participation – students rise to meet it
Posted on 02/06/2018
This is the image for the news article titled Bar set for academic participation – students rise to meet it

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, February 6, 2018

High percentages of middle and high school
athletes meet district academic requirements

BEAUFORT – Nearly all Beaufort County School District student athletes in fall and winter sports for the current school year met the district’s academic participation requirements.

Ninety-seven percent of Beaufort County’s high school student athletes and 95 percent of middle school student athletes maintained their academic eligibility by meeting the district’s minimum 2.0 GPA participation requirement.  Beaufort County is one of only two South Carolina districts that require a 2.0 minimum (a C average) to participate on athletics teams.

Of 1,068 high school athletes in the district, 1,031 met the academic requirement during the first two academic quarters and 37 did not.  Of 486 middle school athletes, 461 met the requirement and 25 did not. 

The overall district-wide GPA for high school student athletes for the first two academic quarters of the 2017-18 academic year was 4.07.  The overall district-wide GPA for middle school student athletes for the first two academic quarters of the 2017-18 academic year was 3.56. 

“Beaufort County decided several years ago to raise the bar for our student athletes, and they have responded in terrific fashion,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss.  “They have absolutely met the challenge set by the Board of Education, and they have ensured that they will continue to succeed after they leave high school and possibly pursue college scholarships.”

High school cross country, golf, swimming, tennis and volleyball teams all maintained GPAs higher than 4.0.  Middle school volleyball teams maintained a GPA higher than 4.0.

Districtwide, 275 middle school athletes were honored as Academic All-Stars for earning GPA’s higher than 3.5 (essentially a B-plus average) for the first two quarters.  At the high school level, 894 student athletes were honored as Academic All-Stars for the first two quarters.

After a series of community forums in 2011, the Board of Education approved the 2.0 GPA requirement for athletes. Only one other South Carolina district (Richland District 1 in Columbia) has a similar requirement.

Chief Auxiliary Services Officer Gregory McCord said that the district’s middle and high schools have after-school tutorial programs to assist students who are in danger of falling below the 2.0 requirement.  Interim reports, report card grades, teacher/sponsor recommendations and coaching staff requirements are used to identify students required to attend after-school programs.  McCord said that schools pay special attention to communicating the rules to student athletes and their parents. 

McCord added that the NCAA has raised its GPA requirement for college athletic eligibility to 2.3.  He said district officials have begun discussions on whether to raise the district’s requirements to match the NCAA’s.  Students are participating in those discussions. 

The South Carolina High School League’s statewide minimum GPA requirement is 1.0.