Sara Glashagel is a special education teacher at Antioch (Ill.) Community High School near Chicago. Last week, she was charged with computer tampering. Authorities allege Glashagel used an administrative password to access student records and change the grades of 64 students – 41 of whom are on Antioch’s football team. Why would a special education teacher alter grades for football players? Well, her husband, Brian Glashagel is Antioch’s head coach. Police think Glashagel mixed in the 23 other students to mask the football changes. Now here’s where the story gets weird. According to police, Coach Glashagel had no idea about his wife’s alleged actions. They point to the fact that while grades were changed, none of the changes were high enough to affect student eligibility. Basically, authorities believe that the coach would have at least made the grades high enough for the kids to play.
Glashagel could face up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine if convicted. There used to be a TV show on some years ago called America’s Dumbest Criminals. I feel like this story fits somehow. That being said, academic dishonesty is a serious subject and can’t be laughed off. Academic and athletic departments have had battles for years over the balance between sports and the classroom. We all know math is more important than football. I’ve also heard coaches go on and on about how they don’t want dumb players. Yet, stories like this crop up every now and again when someone in an authority position (teacher, coach, etc.) takes it upon himself or herself to circumvent the system and effectively devalue education.
Our kids can be good students and good athletes at the same time. My good friend and co-worker, Kristin Folkl-Kaburakis is one of the greatest athletes the St. Louis area has ever produced. She also graduated from Stanford University. Scott Highmark completed his degree from St. Louis University and became one of the greatest basketball players in the school’s history. He’s also the keynote speaker for the 2012 St. Louis Youth Sports Summit at Maryville University (click here for more information). Academics and athletics can co-exist at a high level. We as parents and coaches need to set the right example. Kids can achieve greatness when we expect them to. Until next time…
Be a Good Sport!
Related link(s): Wife of football coach charged in grade tampering – Chicago Tribune