CMS suspends rule requiring student-athletes to maintain 2.0 GPA this fall

CHARLOTTE — Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools voted 7-2 on Tuesday to suspend a rule this fall that requires student-athletes to maintain a 2.0 grade point average to play sports due to the rocky academic year caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Board member Rhonda Cheek explained why she brought the idea to Superintendent Earnest Winston’s attention.

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“We’ve made it really tough for those kids to be academically successful, and we need to pour all of our energy into making them academically successful this fall so that they can meet requirements for the spring,” Cheek said.

West Charlotte High School head football coach Sam Greiner said if CMS did not make that decision, the school would not have a junior varsity football team this fall.

(Watch Below: CMS suspends rule requiring student-athletes to maintain 2.0 GPA this fall)

“West Charlotte, and some other schools like us, it was very difficult for kids during COVID because the learning environment can be different from someone else’s learning environment,” Greiner said. “You might have other obligations, watching other children younger than you. There is a lot of things that could happen.”

Some board members, including Sean Strain, did not agree with the decision because he said the curriculum is the core.

“Now we’re looking at next semester and saying it was a difficult situation, so we’re going to lower the bar,” Strain said. “That’s what this is. We can say it’s not lowering it, but we are indeed. That’s exactly what we’re doing.”

The superintendent said school leaders are still looking into options for the spring.

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