Top high school athletes are purposely failing to graduate so they can get around an NCAA rule that bars students with low grades and test scores from competing as freshmen.
One of the players who said he intentionally failed was Andre Jones of Forestville Military Academy, who had accepted a football scholarship to play at Boston College last summer and was on track to graduate. But poor grades as a freshman and a sophomore left Jones unlikely to meet the NCAA minimum standards for freshman eligibility and receive his scholarship.
Jones’s mother, Shannon, said she was advised by Boston College assistant coach Keith Willis and the coach at the Connecticut prep school at which Jones eventually would enroll that it would be in her son’s best interest not to graduate from high school. Andre Jones said he intentionally failed English during the second semester of his senior year to not meet graduation requirements.
By repeating 12th grade at a prep school, athletes have a chance to raise their grades so they’ll be eligible to play for four years in college.