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School Board changes policy on eligibility review

Fall athletes could get chance to play

Sept. 1, 2009

Nicolet — Ineligible athletes who want to play a fall sport at Nicolet High School can now practice with their teams until Sept. 18 when a grade review will determine if they will be allowed to play in competition during the fall season.

The School Board last week agreed to a shift its previous policy after head football coach Everett Jenkins and assistant football coach Brian Sommers made a case for easing the policy. Athletic eligibility is determined by fourth quarter grades.

At Nicolet, a student must have a 2.33 grade point average to be eligible. Students are in a probationary status between 2.0 and 2.32 and may practice but not participate in games. Those below 2.0 are ineligible. Under the old policy, the district would review the grades of those students at the end of the first quarter to determine eligibility, but by then, the fall sports season is over.

The coaches argued the policy was not fair to fall athletes since they bear a tougher consequence, the loss of a full season, unlike winter or spring athletes who miss 50 percent of a season if academically ineligible.

District Administrator Rick Monroe said the board approved the change as long as students meet the WIAA academic requirement. The WIAA allows participation as long as a student does not fail more than one subject, according to eligibility information on the WIAA Web site.

Monroe said the board plans to review the remainder of the code during the school year. Nicolet has a high grade point requirement, he said, and that may discourage some student athletes from taking the most rigorous classes for fear of not doing well enough to maintain eligibility.

- Mary Buckley

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