by Olivia Mitchell, Talon Reporter
If you have ever participated in a sport in HRV, or have friends that have, there’s a good chance you have read, or at least heard of, the contract all athletes must sign before each season begins. Though the athletic contract has been around for many years here at HRV, the document has been updated for the 2015-2016 school year, with more leniencies for student athletes. There are many requirements on student participation for school athletics in the Hood River Valley School District. A student must be on track to graduate, have passing grades for all classes, and be enrolled in at least five classes. Student athletes are also forbidden from engaging in any kind of illegal or reckless activity, such as using Marijuana, alcohol, or tobacco. Although the contract directly specifies the consequences of this behavior (suspension from participation), some student athletes decide to party during their weekends, while continuing to play their sport.
Out of 56 anonymous student athletes surveyed, more than half admitted to breaking the contract, in regards to drug and alcohol use, without any repercussions (this is might be correlated with the fact that 44 athletes said that they had never read the contract in its entirety). However, 50 students responded that their teammates had broken the contract, with most never being caught by administration. Students have varying opinions on the regulatory document. One student said, “We went over it last year in Leadership. I think its [sic] stupid to watch friends drink or party because they aren’t thinking about the other people on their team that need them. I don’t want you on my team if you’re not going to commit fully to it. Don’t play sports if you want to party.” Another said, “I think that it is a necessary contract, however I also think that the punishment is too harsh. If a kid is caught for drinking and then kicked off of the team, there is even less to stop him from drinking again.”
Kevin Haspela, coach of the varsity girls’ soccer team, appreciates the new contract. “The biggest change to the athletic contract had to do with training rules. And, unfortunately, over the years we’ve had a player or two that broke the training rules not be allowed to participate for the rest of the season. It’s been a sort of “one strike and you’re out” system, and that’s different now,” he said. “In the years past, if a player breaks training rules, they can’t play, and what they need is their team, and to continue to contribute to their team, to make amends, and to make a wrong right, and the new system allows for that.”