AD adds stricter policies on game-day attendance, rides home


Lydia Sourichanh

Athletic Director Chris Bryant has implemented several sports policy changes.

Ruth Mulugeta, Staff Reporter

As a student-athlete, oftentimes the most important part of the phrase – student – is overlooked. This year, Chris Bryant, Cleveland’s new athletic director, is trying to put the focus back on academics. He has implemented new rules to ensure that athletes are putting as much effort into their academics as they do on the court or on the field.

Bryant’s first sweeping policy was to implement mandatory study hall. Athletes are required to be in study hall at least two hours per week on a schedule set at the coach’s discretion. Students must also have a minimum grade point average of 2.0 and passing seven out of their eight classes. If the student is only taking seven classes, they must be passing them all. Bryant said the study hall is helping, having seen a significant improvement in grades.

Two new policies began after Thanksgiving break: stricter attendance and sign out sheets for pickups from games.

Parents or guardians will be required to sign out their children after away games.

“If the school provides transportation then the parent or legal guardian needs to sign out their kid with the coach if they want to take them home. Otherwise, they will be riding the bus back and be able to be picked up from Cleveland,” Bryant said.

This will ensure the safety of the athlete. The school is responsible for each child until their parents pick them up. The sign out sheet will be a way for parents to know that they’re accepting responsibility for their child again.

The second piece is the game day attendance policy. An athlete’s attendance will be monitored daily to ensure students are in class. If a student has an unexcused absence in a class, they will not be allowed to participate in practice or play in the game that day.

“The attendance piece is just that we are very big on focusing on academics,” Bryant said. “It’s impossible to be a student athlete if you’re missing half of your classes.”

The Washington Interscholastic Activities Association’s (WIAA) rule on attendance is the student athlete has to be in attendance for all of their classes on game days. The difference is that Cleveland is putting more weight on the rule by enforcing it on practice days as well.

“We want our student athletes to realize they need a backup plan, even if they plan on being a professional athlete,” said Bryant. “They are one injury away or one bad play away potentially from not having a career to fall back on, so we’ve got to have academics done so they can fall back on their career.”