The effects of high school athletic participation on student ahievement, attendance, and discipline

During tough financial times, school districts are continuing to look for ways to save money by cutting programs. Some school districts look to the cost of athletics as a way to save money. Educators who consider this option may wish to consider the effects of athletics on the academic achievement, attendance, and discipline of student participation. This study involved one high school in the Central Valley of California and compared the athletes to the nonathletes in regard to their GPA, days in attendance at school, and the number of disciplinary referrals. Students were identified as athletes, if they participated in any of the fourteen sports offered at the school. Students were identified as nonathletes if they did not participate in any sports at the school. The sample number selected for both the athletes and nonathletes was fifty and they were selected randomly. After the students were identified, they were listed alphabetically. Every seventh student athlete was selected from a list of 355 students for this study and every ninth student nonathlete was selected from a list of 459 students for this study. A t-test of independent samples was used to analyze the data at the .05 level. The data that were collected and analyzed suggest athletes have a significantly better GPA and attendance record than nonathletes. Also, the results suggest that the number of disciplinary referrals between athletes and nonathletes was not significantly different.