Dolores coach James Biard resigns; cites eligibility policy

Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017 6:54 PM
Journal file

Coach James Biard has resigned. He coached the middle school football team, shown here at summer camp, and middle school girls basketball team. He was also the assistant high school football coach.

Longtime Dolores coach James Biard announced his resignation during the Dec. 14 school board meeting.

Biard expressed frustration with the schools’ athlete eligibility policy, and felt too many kids were being “shut out of sporting activities they love and work hard for.”

“I will no longer be a coach for Dolores schools, but will continue to be a good citizen and watchdog of our schools,” he said.

Biard was the coach for the middle school football team and middle school girls basketball team. He was also the assistant high school football coach.

According to Dolores Schools policy, “student athletes who receive one failing grade for the week, or who do not maintain at least a 2.0 GPA for the current grading period will not be able to participate during the following week.” Only students in grades 6-12 can participate in sports.

“If they do not meet the standard, they are ineligible for games but can still practice,” said Superintendent Scott Cooper. “If they improve their grades to a 2.0, they become eligible to play in the games.”

Cooper said about 30-35 percent of students in grades 6-12 – about 100 students – do not meet the 2.0 standard. They are not all athletes.

“We track all students, and if they fall below the standard, we work to find out what the problem is and provide tutors and extra help to improve their grades,” he said.

Cooper said when he first began as superintendent, the eligibility requirements were 1.0 GPA for athletes to compete in games.

“One of the first things we did was increase the eligibility standard to a 2.0 GPA,” he said.

All students involved in extra-curricular activities must keep a 2.0 GPA to participate, not just athletes.

Other eligibility requirements include: full-time enrollment, attendance the entire school day in order participate in the activity conducted that day, turning in a physical examination, have applicable permission forms signed, and have complied with all disciplinary sanctions.

The school activities director certifies weekly individual student eligibility in cooperation with the guidance office. Eligibility lists are distributed to all teachers.

No games have been canceled because of Biard’s resignation, Cooper said. New coaches will be sought to fill the vacancies.