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Gottlieb: Eligibility rules change ‘a good thing’


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The superintendent of Roswell schools said a change in student-athlete eligibility rules by the New Mexico Activities Association is a positive move.

The New Mexico Activities Association Board of Directors, in an emergency meeting Thursday night, voted to allow students to participate in fall sports with no reference to their scholastic record and to determine eligibility by semester grades rather than nine-week grades.

That means for fall sports, students can participate even if they had an F last spring. At the end of the fall semester, they must have a 2.0 grade point average with no Fs to continue to play.

“That’s a good thing,” RISD Superintendent Mike Gottlieb said Friday morning.

The change is temporary and due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a press release from the NMAA board.

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The NMAA vote comes on the heels of a survey by the New Mexico High School Coaches Association that suggested 36% of student-athletes have at least one failing grade. A press release from the association Wednesday said 215 coaches from 86 schools representing 3,135 student-athletes participated in the survey earlier in the week.

Gottlieb said he couldn’t speculate on the grades of RISD students. The district passed the mid nine weeks on Sept. 17, but Gottlieb said not all teachers put in a final grade until the end of the nine weeks. That will be Oct. 19.

He said he does know students are struggling. He visits the district’s buildings on a daily basis and observes teachers conducting remote learning.

“I watch the teachers every day and all the things they’re trying to do. It has been a tremendous struggle for our staff,” he said.

“Our grades are not good. This remote learning is not only difficult for students, it’s difficult for parents and the teachers and anybody else in between that’s working, trying to educate kids the best they can,” he said.

Gottlieb noted that while the fall season is scheduled to begin Oct. 10 for cross country, volleyball and golf, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has yet to give her approval for those sports to start.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

To keep up with local coverage of the coronavirus, go to rdrnews.com/category/news/covid-19-situation/.