Rockford high school sports eligibility is featured on the ESPN show, Outside The Lines.

When I was in high school, I played football. To be eligible to participate with the team, I had to have a 2.0 grade point average.

That was the rule for all the athletes in my school. In fact, it was the standard for most high schools in the United States.

It was hard work balancing school and sports, but I did it. I thought a C average was fair to achieve.

We had quite a few very talented athletes not able to play, because they couldn't keep their grades up.

The players that were eligible earned the privilege to play.

The majority of students aren't going pro, so it's important for them to do well in school.

A few years ago, some schools districts across the country decided to change those rules. They upped the grade point requirement to 3.0 grade point average. That seemed pretty harsh.

Others including Rockford, decided to change that rule in the other direction. They lowered their grade point requirement.

There was a story about it on,

"Students with less than a C average have been able to compete on Rockford teams since last year, when the district dropped its rule requiring athletes maintain a 2.0 GPA."

Here is the reasoning the Rockford school district gave for doing it.

"We realized right away that when we kicked kids off the team, a lot of them were disappearing from our schools. We knew that we needed to find a way to get those students back into the schools and connected with the schools."

According to, ESPN "Outside The Lines" recently did a follow up story about it.

"More students enticed by the opportunity to participate in sports have been staying in school and off the streets. And Rockford teams are enjoying a level of success that Rockford hasn't seen in 30 years."

How about the academics?

"The positive results are credited to an increased emphasis on tutoring."

I understand what they are trying to do. If they can keep the students interested in school with sports, there's a chance that they could do better with their grades.

Even though I'm old school and believe in the 2.0 grade point average rule, I'm willing to be open minded about their program.

I know it's difficult to get kids to be involved with school, so hopefully this will continue to help. Plus, improve their classwork.

What do you think?

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