The Relationship Between Participation in Football and GPA, Discipline, and Attendance of Urban Male High School Athletes Before and After the Introduction of the 2.0 GPA Play Policy in One School Division in Virginia
Ramsey, Stefanie Celine
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The educational plight of the urban student athlete is often associated with academic underachievement. This study researched the effects of minimum academic standards on athletes to increase their academic success, attendance rates, reduce discipline infractions and subsequently, increase graduation rates. Vidal- Fernandez (2011) conducted a study on the effect minimum academic requirements to participate in sports had on high school graduation. Students who were involved in a sport had significantly higher grade point averages during their sport season compared to their grade point averages when the students were not in season. Schools invest large amounts of resources into sports activities under the well-supported assumption that these activities increase levels of student outcomes. If engagement in athletics significantly improves the likelihood of academic success, then school leaders should choose to target resources and efforts at increasing participation, especially for at-risk and failing students (Vidal-Fernandez, 2011). In this quantitative study to determine what impact athletics have on the student's academic performance, the researcher collected existing data on the high school football teams for two semesters prior to a system wide 2.0 GPA policy to play and two semesters after the implementation of the 2.0 GPA play policy. Independent variables (attendance, discipline and GPA) and dependent variables (participation in football, academic coach or no academic coach, and athletic coach) were collected, and these variables were then measured and analyzed using relevant statistical procedures. Many of the student athletes in this study increased their accountability for their academic achievement in order to achieve higher GPAs in order to participate in athletics. Although not statistically significant, the data showed there was an increase in the overall district GPA for football players in the division after the implementation of the 2.0 GPA rule. Another important finding, student mobility (transiency) was notable at each high school during the three-year span of the study. While the present study only analyzed a district sample of athletes, the results could assist parents, coaches, and school administrators in monitoring the academic success of the school system's athletes.
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