How the SPASH Sports Policy Affects the Students


SPASH Football and SPASH Volleyball games in the fall semester of 2022. Credit to Brooklyn Pagel

Brooklyn Pagel, Hour 2

Imagine all year you’ve been struggling with this class and have sought help and you’ve really tried all you could to pass this class. You finally learned just to accept your not going to pass it, and you were okay with it because you put your full motivation and effort into passing. Then you get called down to the office. You are nervous because you never have done anything wrong and besides for that one class you are a straight A student. You get a letter saying you’re suspended from your sport for 15 days. Your world is crumbled and you feel hopeless. How do you deal with this?

The SPASH Sports policy is a policy put in place to make sure students are not failing grades while participating in sports. The policy explicitly states that you may not have any failing grades for your quarter grade. If you have a failing grade or multiple failing grades you are punished with a 15 day suspension. In this suspension you are not allowed to play in games but you can practice. During the suspension you are obligated to attend the games but you are not allowed to wear your sports uniform. On the 15th day of suspension you are required to have every single one of your teachers sign a form saying that you are not failing their class. If you are still failing on the 15th day you get 5 more days to fix your grades. If you fail to do so again you cant participate in practice until you get your grades back up. 

While conducting my interview I saw polar opposite views on the SPASH Academic Sports Policy. A teacher’s point of view versus a student’s point of view is understandably different. As Mr.Hauser the head of SPASH sports explains, “it’s very fair and sets up students for college and helps prepare students for the academic guidelines in college.” In other words it’s the most fair the policy could get and sets student athletes up for their future in college sports. On the other side of the spectrum from a student’s perspective there’s a different opinion. Hanah Netys a junior at SPASH doesn’t think the policy is fair. Her reasoning behind this is because there’s certain situations where it’s not only the players fault but the teachers and the policy doesn’t work for all cases. Adding on to that it could be an overall error in the first place. To sum up what Hanah said, the policy isn’t really fair for all cases and flexibility needs to be put into place. Even I (Brooklyn Pagel, a student who was affected) has a strong opinion which relates to Hanah Netys opinion. I think that the current SPASH policy is really good in a lot of different situations but in some circumstances it just does not fit. To elaborate I think there are so many situations where the policy that is currently in place now works very well but there are a handful of situations that would not work. 

Changes to the Academic Code of Conduct should be done. Hauser states that he is very open to changes but the policy has been the same since he coached and worked in the Stevens Point Area School District. The policy needs to be more flexible and more of a variety for different students and different lifestyles. Hanah Netys had a lot of input on this question. “To make the policy more fair to all you need to have more than one option in place” To continue on with what Hanah said there needs to be more flexibility with the policy and possibly implement more than one option. This will help the people with different discipline styles and learning styles. 

Reasons for the policy are in place are strong but to some not strong enough. The athletic code of conduct book that every student athlete sees and should look at has a lot of very helpful information regarding why there is a policy put in place to begin with. One of the biggest reasons it stated was that all students need to remain failing to participate. This is justified to keep students from just coming to school because of sports and to keep students engaged in school. Mr.Hauser shared really good reasoning saying that the “WIAA requires all high schools to have a sports failing grade policy”. He also shares the reason for SPASHs policy is to set up student athletes for college sports, this is teaching them how to organize themselves and to hold themselves accountable. To continue the policy SPASH has set in place helps student athletes up for college sports. From my point of view as a student who was affected I think the biggest reason for the policy is for students to hold themselves accountable. If the student makes the mistake of having a failing grade in the first place a lot of young students don’t know how to hold themselves accountable so the policy teaches them. Another reason is that the school’s outlook on sports are that they are a privilege not a right and if you’re not maintaining the only thing keeping you from coming to school (grades and learning) that the privilege of playing sports for the school can be taken away. 

All in all there are some possible solutions for this problem at SPASH. This could be by creating more than one punishment for the sports academic grade policy. This could be shortening the length for the suspension based on the students other grades and previous academics. Another option would be suspending students for a set amount of games instead of fifteen days because it’s unfair for all different athletes because one sport could have one game a week while another sport has three. So changing it to a set amount of games instead of days. Not one punishment is a good fit for all students like one shoe doesn’t fit every person so one punishment  won’t either. There needs to be more options and flexibility. 

In conclusion you don’t want to be suspended from your sports because of one bad grade or even because of a mistake. To make sure you can stay out of this situation there needs to be more put into the policy to make it more fair for all sports and for all students.