The state Board of Education takes the next step in the process of modifying the high school athletic eligibility rules with a public hearing this afternoon. The board voted two years ago to require athletes to pass all their classes to remain eligible to play sports, and said an athlete would have to sit out 20 school days as the penalty for a failed grade.
The board reviewed the rule at its December meeting and agreed to a couple of changes suggested by attorney Carol Gretta. One would change the consequences of a failing grade from 20 "school days" to 30 "calendar days", which Gretta says would make the rule easier to administer. Another change would put fewer restrictions on when the suspension is served.
Gretta says the board will also look at getting rid of the rule that requires a student to sit out their time in a sport where they have been a "bonafide competitor." She says students would instead be able to go out for the next sport and serve their suspension in that sport, even if they hadn’t participated in the sport in the past.
Today’s hearing is from 2-4 p.m. at the Board of Education’s office in the Grimes building in Des Moines. The hearing will also be available at other sites in the state via the Iowa Communication Network.