Student-athletes could soon face new grade requirements

Armando Jacobo, Sports Editor

All student-athletes will be held to a higher academic standard per the California Community College Athletic Association starting July 1. Under the current rules, student-athletes must have a 2.0 GPA and attempt 24 units in between their respective sport.

The current proposal, offered by the CCCAA, is that the minimum amount of units should be increased to 27, and 50 percent of those units must be completed over a three semester span (spring, summer and fall) in order to become eligible.

As Athletic Director Dan Clauss explained, the purpose for the legislation is to expedite degree completion for student-athletes and not allow them to digress after they finish playing their respective sport.

“We have several community college athletes that might not complete their AA-degree after they finish their athletic eligibility, so by increasing the units it gets them closer to the AA-degree. We’re trying to get them to AA-completion,” Clauss said.

Despite putting student-athletes’ academic career on a fast track, the current proposal conflicts with the basketball season, which spans over two semesters – fall and spring.

A basketball player may potentially become ineligible mid-season if the athlete does not meet the forthcoming sanctions.

Although the sanctions are yet to be enacted, Clauss and athletic counselor Mike Miles have begun the process of introducing the upcoming bylaws to student-athletes so they can get accustomed to the process come July.

“In our eligibility meetings this fall we met with every single sport individually, Mike Miles and myself, we actually introduced the new bylaws,” Clauss said. “While they (the bylaws) didn’t apply to the incoming freshmen, we told them that that’s what they need to do to try and get them used to it coming next year.”

The academic bar will be raised for student-athletes come July, but there are three other proposals on the table yet to be voted on in April, according to Dean of Athletics Dan Smith.

“We’ll vote on all four of those proposals in April and then whatever we vote on will go into effect on [July 1]. Because we’re on a semester, it would only apply to men’s and women’s basketball, but some of the quarter schools could end in the middle of a spring sport, so that’s probably the biggest controversy,” Smith said. 

It is unknown how these controversies will be worked out before the laws take effect.

Though nothing is definitive yet, student-athletes will be expected to raise their academic standards regardless of which proposal becomes enacted in April.