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Intercol puts GPA scrap on hold

Published:Monday | October 9, 2017 | 12:00 AMRaymond Graham

Jamaica Intercollegiate Sports Association (Intercol) General Secretary Laurence Garriques said that the association is putting on hold, plans to disregard student athletes' grade point averages (GPA) as an eligibility requirement for participation in sports.

For the past several weeks, the executive body of Intercol has been in the limelight following a decision taken at its annual general meeting (AGM) in Montego Bay in mid-September concerning athletes' eligibility to compete in sporting activities at that level.

Over the years, student athletes had to maintain a GPA of a minimum of 2.0 to compete, but this was expected to be shelved after a proposal was made that students GPAs should no longer be considered. Garriques had confirmed that Intercol had decided that students only needed to register at their respective institutions to compete. However, this had not gone down well several member institutions, especially the teacher's colleges, as many thought that was a backward step and would essentially turn institutions into sports clubs rather than leaning towards academics.

Despite several institutions willing to stick to the previous standard where the minimum GPA would remain intact, there was also news that several of these institutions would have boycotted participation in Intercol Sports this year as the new rule would have only benefited the community colleges.

However, Garriques said that Intercol had been considering the concerns of the dissenting member institutions.




"At the present time, based on the concerns raised by our fellow member institutions, and the challenges faced in implementing what was passed at our AGM, we have decided to delay that implementation so we can have more dialogue with our members for the way forward, which will be more beneficial to all. We will revert to the previous eligibility of a 2.0 GPA," Garriques said.

Garriques was asked if his executive was forced to revert to the previous eligibility criterion because of pressure on team over the past several days by several institutions.

"I think once the declaration was made public, concerns were made and in good governance, we believed that we had to listen to these concerns, as they were enough. We just have to go back to the stakeholders, and definitely it was not pressure, but just to listen to our members who had genuine concerns," he continued.

However, Garriques said that things could change for the next semester. "This is just a delay in implementing these changes, as we will need to have a special general meeting to have consultation where a definitive position will be taken, as we cannot do so in midstream," he concluded.