Christian school curriculum needs more scrutiny

The NCAA prides itself on creating scholar athletes and preparing the top standouts for careers in professional sports. Scholar athletes. Let those words sink in for a moment. Those elite few students who have been given the privilege to compete at the level of competition beyond high school have a gift, an honor and sense of integrity to uphold for their hometowns and colleges.

In Tuesday’s issue of The New York Times, two preparatory academies were pointed out as not meeting “model” or “quality” status by the Accelerated Christian Education program. These schools, Lutheran Christian Academy in Philadelphia and Prince Avenue Prep in Pickens, S.C., both fell into this realm of noncompliance with NCAA by not meeting the specific curriculum requirements of the ACE.

These two prep schools were not giving an actual workload for the students to endure. It is understood that sometimes extra attention and tutoring is given to athletes, but they still are required to put forth an effort in the classroom, as well as on the playing field. At Lutheran Christian, this was not the case.

Athletes admitted to not being required to attend class and that their coach, Darryl Schofield, was the only teacher. This type of academic cajoling is absurd when a student needs to prove he or she is a scholar first, athlete second.

It is cowardly to not challenge a student to prove he or she has the ability be an upstanding citizen on and off the field. These academies should be ashamed, and the NCAA is in the right for requiring the current students of these schools to prove themselves as being ready for college with SAT and ACT scores.

The ACE itself needs to look at these schools under the microscope and prove the integrity of the students who wish to pursue collegiate athletic careers.

Sports editor Marcus Murphree for the editorial board.