Academic support for Blair sports

Oct. 10, 2003, midnight | By Anthony Glynn | 20 years, 6 months ago

Football and basketball teams get homework help

The varsity football and basketball teams have kept more players eligible thanks to an academic support class for athletes.

Football Coach James Short started this program last winter and it has been proven to increase athletes' grades significantly. "Before the program there was normally 10 to 15 students [on varsity football] in summer school; this previous summer there were two or three," said Short.

The after-school program runs from 2:20 to 3:30 every day Monday through Thursday in room 124. "By the end of this year our goal is to get to where any Blair athlete can take advantage of this program. As of right now we are trying to get the junior varsity football players situated in this program. It isn't mandatory for my athletes to come, but I really encourage it because without it some very good athletes might not be able to participate," Short explained.

The class is meant to prevent student from failing, but Athletic Director Dale Miller said that it "absolutely does not excuse ineligibility. If they have unacceptable quarter grades they are automatically off the team." An athlete is deemed ineligible to participate in any sports team if their grade point average is a 2.0 or lower or if they have more than one failing grade.

"It's nice to get homework done before practice because after practice I'm too tired to do homework," said varsity football player Reginald Desir. Teammate Patrick Brice also expressed approval and said, "The teachers that supervise are like multi-subject tutors; they help us with anything we have questions about."

"Funding was the most difficult aspect," said Short. "We had to raise about $7,000 mainly to pay for teachers [the main teachers are Megan Webb, Tim Medlin, Pam Bryant, and Short himself]. Most of this came from holding and assisting at school dances. " Miller said that the funds for the money year will come from the Boosters, the athletic department and possibly the general fund controlled by principal Phillip Gainous.

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