The Virginia High School League, composed of the state's high school principals and athletic directors, yesterday defeated two proposals that would require high school athletes to have higher grades.
In Alexandria, where the school board is considering a similar measure, yesterday's vote in Charlottesville was welcomed by athletes and coaches who are opposed to increasing the academic requirements there.
"Good choice," said T.C. Williams High School football coach Glenn Furman, who praised the league action. Its rules are minimum standards that local school systems may increase if they wish to set their own standards for participation in high school sports.
The league defeated one measure that would have increased from four to five the number of subjects a student had to pass to play interscholastic sports, by an overwhelming voice vote, VHSL spokeswoman Laura Bickley said.
A second proposal, which would have allowed a student to participate in athletics only if he maintained a 2.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale, died on a vote of 133-to-81.
Of the 284 Virginia public high schools in the league, 214 had sent a representative to Charlottesville for the meeting. Don Riviere, the athletic director at T.C. Williams, Alexandria's only public high school, said earlier in the week that he would attend the meeting and was clearly opposed to both proposals.
"They voted them down because they wanted to study them more," said VHSL assistant executive secretary Earl Gillespie. "They decided there was no hurry."
The Alexandria School Board will vote Nov. 14 on its proposal to ban students from sports if they earn less than a "C" average during the semester before the playing season.