Rita Walters reveals a very narrow attitude about sports when she states, "People forget that the purpose of school is not to play ball or participate in drama" and "the education opportunities . . . are more important than having a winning team or having a team at all." (Staying Above C Level, Nov. 16.) This is so educationally narrow that I would call it athletic bigotry. Her no-fail/C-average policy treats high school athletes as second-class student-citizens. In all the discussions and comments concerning this issue, I have yet to come across this point of view: Why should it be more difficult to play ball than to earn a high school diploma? Doesn't the public realize that a student with a 1.0 grade point average (D) and 170 credits earns a diploma?
Coaches are educators first, just as athletes are students first. We use our content area to teach discipline, loyalty, personal sacrifice, commitment to excellence, the needs for rules, performing under pressure and a long list of other behaviors and attitudes that cannot be learned as readily in other curricular areas. High school athletics is not a farm system for the colleges. Educationally, there are other objectives and goals.