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Athletes Need to Make the Grade to Play

Subjects

Subject(s)

  • Physical Education
    --Team Sports

Grades

Grades 2-up

News Content

New rules will force college athletes to study harder, get good grades.

Anticipation Guide

Before reading, ask students to agree or disagree with each of the statements below.

  • If a college athlete is good at sports, he or she can "slide through school" and get a diploma.
  • Many college athletes never earn their college diplomas.
  • Most college athletes go on to play on professional sports teams.
  • If new rules forced athletes to get good grades in order to play, many athletes might not be able to play.

    News Words

    Introduce these words before students read the article:

  • NCAA -- acronym for that National Collegiate Athletic Association, an organization that watches over college sports to ensure safety, good sportsmanship
  • penalty -- a punishment for breaking the rules
  • system -- an organized way of doing things

    Read the News

    Click for a printable version of this week's news story Athletes Need to Make the Grade to Play.


    Reading the News

    You might use a variety of approaches to reading the news:

  • Read aloud the news story to students as they follow along.
  • Students might first read the news story to themselves; then call on individual students to read the news aloud for the class.
  • Arrange students into small groups. Each student in the group will read a paragraph of the story. As that student reads, others might underline important information or write a note in the margin of the story. After each student finishes reading, others in the group might say something -- a comment, a question, a clarification -- about the text.

  • More Facts to Share

    You might share these additional facts with students after they have read this week's news story.

  • The new academic regulations apply to athletes on NCAA Division I teams.
  • The new Academic Progress Rate (APR) will go into effect this December.
  • Once APR scores are released, penalties will be effective immediately. If a sports team does not meet the minimum APR score in the first year, it will receive a warning letter; potential penalties increase each subsequent year until the fourth year of failure, when the team will lose its NCAA membership status.
  • Some good news about college athletes: Research on the Division I graduation-rates for the entering class of 1997 shows that overall student-athlete graduate rates (62 percent) were above that of the general student body as a whole (60 percent).

    Comprehension Check

    Revisit the Anticipation Guide at the top of this lesson; ask students to respond again to the statements in it.

  • If a college athlete is good at sports, he or she can "slide through school" and get a diploma. (Some might say that has been the case. The new point system will make it more difficult for schools to allow athletes to slide through.)
  • Many college athletes never earn their college diplomas. (true)
  • Most college athletes go on to play on professional sports teams. (Relatively few athletes continue their athletic careers at the professional level.)
  • If new rules forced athletes to get good grades in order to play, many athletes might not be able to play. (true)

    You might follow-up that activity with some of these questions:

    Recalling Detail

  • Why is the NCAA creating the new system for tracking how athletes do in school? (Accept reasoned responses. For example, they worry that too many athletes do not receive college diplomas; will not be prepared for life after college; will not have a career path to follow.)
  • Under the new NCAA point system, how many points make a perfect score? (1,000 points)
  • Will a team receive penalties from the NCAA if it has a score of 924? (Yes, under the new system a team must have at least 925 points.)

    Think About the News
    Discuss the Think About the News questions that appear on the students' news page.

    Follow-Up Activities

    Langauge Arts. The NCAA monitors men and women students in a couple dozen sports. Copy the list of NCAA sports below onto a board or chart. Ask students to arrange the list in alphabetical order. basketball golf track & field gymnastics water polo bowling lacrosse wrestling soccer fencing field hockey tennis football baseball swimming

    Technology. Use the online resource NCAA Member School Nicknames to create a 10-question matching quiz in which students will match each of 10 colleges with that college's team nickname. Post the activity in your classroom computer center. Have students use the online resource to complete the activity. Assessment

    Use the Comprehension Check (above) as an assessment. Or have students work on their own (in their journals) or in their small groups to respond to the Think About the News questions on the news story page or in the Comprehension Check section.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    National Standards

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English
    GRADES K - 12
    NL-ENG.K-12.2 Reading for Understanding
    NL-ENG.K-12.12 Applying Language Skills

    PHYSICAL EDUCATION AND HEALTH: Physical Education
    GRADES K - 12
    NPH.K-12.5 Responsible Behavior
    NPH.K-12.7 Understanding Challenges

    TECHNOLOGY
    GRADES K - 12
    NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts
    NT.K-12.5 Technology Research Tools

    See more recent news stories in Education World's New Story of the Week Archive.

    Article by Gary Hopkins
    Education World®
    Copyright © 2005 Education World



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