A boys basketball coach in Florida says he was fired because his “academic standards were too high,” according to The Orlando Sentinel.
Zach Anspach said he was let go after his first season at Tavares High with an 8-18 record because, “I was asking them [players] to get at least a C. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.”
According to the Florida High School Athletic Association, athletes must have a 2.0 cumulative grade point average in order to play, essentially a C average. Anspach’s policy was that a student with a D or and F in any class on weekly progress reports could not play until his grade increased so a player could have a 2.0 average overall but not meet Anspach’s bar.
Two varsity players sat out a week before the returned with improved grades, he said. The JV season was canceled when too many players failed to meet the standards; the three JV players who did were elevated to varsity.
A school district spokeswoman told The Sentinel that Anspach was let go for not adhering to policy.
Anspach told The Sentinel that he had told the hiring committee of his plans and made the requirements clear to the parents and players before the season. He developed his academic system while working at Florida State in academic advising as a student. He previously had two stops as a JV coach at two schools in the area.
“It’s my understanding that in an effort to raise the bar and support his students, he had laid out some specific guidelines and was working with administrators to provide tutors and mentors for these young men,” Lake County School Board Chairman Bill Mathias told The Sentinel. “I believe what he was doing was in the right spirit — but he was too aggressive.”