West Virginia GPA athletic waiver creates hurdle for golfers


MASON COUNTY, West Virginia (WOWK) – High school student-athletes are required to maintain good grades to participate in extracurricular activities. Since the pandemic may have contributed to the drop in grades, the West Virginia Board of Education approved a limited surrogacy waiver to help these students catch up.

Student-athletes rely on maintaining a certain GPA for recess eligibility. Switching from in-person learning to distance learning and vice versa has been a struggle for many, but the six to nine week assessment period included in the waiver is designed to help students achieve higher grades in 2.0.

During this period, students who fell below a 2.0 could attend practice, but would not compete until the end of the six to nine week period. However, not all student-athletes can benefit from it.

The son of Gary Mitchell, a resident of Mason County, who plays golf, was one of the many students who fell below this line last year. He said the waiver might be fair for children who participate in weekly competitions.

“The time is just not right for all sports. Golfers will be finished by the end of the six week period… This is the end of their season, ”said Mitchell.

Mitchell’s son is a senior and hopes to land a college scholarship for golf. If the current waiver is left in place, he could lose his entire final season.

West Virginia State Schools Superintendent Clayton Burch said he was well aware of the issue and that a formal discussion on the matter was a possibility at their next board meeting.

I think golf will probably be discussed because the sixth and ninth week students are much more advanced in their season than other sports.

Clayton Burch, West Virginia State School Superintendent

Mitchell said even if the waiver was pushed back after the game, golfers would still miss several competitions.

In response to the question of tournament eligibility requirements, State Superintendent Burch said, “WVSSAC and the State Council should agree not only to lifting the schedule for golf… it would require that the WVSSAC is considering a waiver on the number of competitions to play in this section or regional tournament.

The State Council or WVSSAC has made no official announcement as to whether a different exemption would be allowed for golf.

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