Athletic eligibility changes

Ricky Diaz, Sports Editor

Beginning this year, Joliet West athletes should be aware of some minor changes. In previous years a student athlete only needed to be passing four classes per week. Beginning on January 1, 2013 students will need to be passing five classes per week, or in other words 25 credit hours. These rules come down from IHSA.

Again the rules come from IHSA but Steve Milsaps, Joliet West Athletic and Activity Director, agrees with the rules by saying, “Challenging the students is never a bad idea. As athletes we always have high expectations on the field, so we should have high expectations in the classroom as well.”

The student athletes at Joliet West should be more than ready to take on these changes. For about the last five years or so, freshman athletes had the same expectation to be passing at least five classes which was a JTHS academic policy. Of course there will be bumps in the road as there is with any changes but this change is nothing to extraordinary.

Also, the coaches of each sport will help whatever student who may be struggling. Each coach knows that a major component of the athletic department philosophy is academics which are put before sports. “The coaches do a good job monitoring the student academic progress and guide the athletes to academic support services if the athletes are in danger of failing courses,” says Milsaps, so there will be no need for student athletes to worry.

According to Milsaps, “Higher standards for our students can help them attain the necessary credits and the core GPA to be eligible for college. More student athletes in college is great for our programs,” hopefully this rule change can put more students in college with athletic scholarships.