Introduction minimum SAT/ACT score and high schoolIntroduction minimum SAT/ACT score and high school



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            Many students, especially in high school and college,
participate in sports, including club and school teams.  Athletic communities in high schools have
developed a negative reputation with respect to academic performance.  Most sport teams require their players to
attend every practice and event, which may give them much less time for school
work and eventually start effecting the individual’s academic success.  However, there has been an increase in the
NCAA level athletic eligibility standards, including a minimum SAT/ACT score
and high school grade point averages. 
Additionally, there are requirements for a high school student to
participate in their high school sport(s), including a minimum GPA of a 2.0 (C
average).  Students may be motivated to
maintain at least the minimum requirements, so they can continue their sport(s)
participation.  This cross-sectional study
will determine the relationship between high school students’ academic
performance and athletic participation and compare between their success in and
out of season.  There have not been
any major studies that concentrate on high school students for all grade levels,
with respect to the impact that their participation in athletics has on their
academic performance, specifically comparing in and out of season success. 


            The hypothesis is that students will not show significant
differences in GPA while participating in sport(s) verses their GPA while they
are not participating in their sport(s).

of Terms    

            Athletic Participation- All students who have
participated to any degree in school athletic teams during the current school

            GPA- (grade point average) a number representing the average value of the accumulated
final grades earned in courses over time

            Academic Performance – For this study, GPA will be used
as a summary measure of the academic performance of the students. The GPA is a
better measurement because it provides a greater insight into the relative
level of performance of individuals and different group of students (IGI



            The researcher assumes that the guidance counselor and
athletic director will give the information needed to conduct the study and
that the information will be correct/true in order to get accurate
results.  Also, the researcher assumes
that the students’ GPAs will represent their true academic performance. 


will only be from one specific high school in southern Florida and may be only
limited to other schools with similar demographics.  The participants may not be representative of
the total population of students participating in school sport activities and
cannot be generalized to other age groups or populations.    


delimitations of this study are that the participants will be restricted to
high school students participating in school sponsored sports within one
specific high school in southern Florida because the inability to access other
schools for research.  Only GPA will be
measured because other academic performance measures, like SAT/ACT, would not
be able to be accessed for the entire academic school year. 


            Sports appear to
be an attractive aspect of the high school experience to many

students (Fisher,
Juszczak, & Friedman, 1996). Fisher et al. conducted an investigation

on the positive and
negative correlates of sports participation on inner-city high school

students. An anonymous
survey was distributed to 838 participants, where 45% were

male and 55% were female
(Fisher et al). Of the 838 students who were interviewed, the

authors found that all of
them participated in sports in some way. The most common

sports were basketball,
volleyball, baseball, and weight lifting (Fisher et al.). The

participants were found
to have most commonly reported that enjoyment, recreation, and

competition were reasons
for participation. The authors found a significant percentage of

students regarded sports
as more important than school. Thirty-five percent of youths fell

into that category
(Fisher et al.). The importance ranking of sports over school was also

consistent with the next
finding of the study. Fisher et al. (1996) found that many of the children
believed that they would be extremely likely to receive an athletic scholarship
(Fisher et al.). Specifically, 52% of males and 20% of females reported that
they would most likely receive such a scholarship (Fisher et al.). This belief
in the ability to receive significant benefits from sports, and thus ranking
them higher than school, was a troubling finding from the study.  The overall review of the authors indicated
that most of the participants engaged in sports, but that a significant
percentage of them had unrealistic expectations for their futures (Fisher et
al.).  Finally, no association was found
between sports involvement and academic performance (Fisher et al.).




participants of this study will be high school student-athletes attending Miami
Palmetto Senior High School.  The
participants will include both male and female students from all grade levels,
Freshmen (9th grade), Sophomores (10th grade), Juniors
(11th grade), and Seniors (12th grade). 


            The researcher will contact the guidance counselor and
athletic director in the high school to see if they will provide the grade
point averages, class schedules, information regarding grade, gender, and sport
of students in all grade levels.  The
researcher will use both t-tests and ANOVA in order to investigate the
independent and dependent variables. In this study, participating in
school-sponsored sport activities was treated as the independent variable, and
the participants’ GPAs were treated as the dependent variable.