CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Several high schoolers are fighting to be able to play sports their senior year after a change in the eligibility rules left them on the sideline.
One of those students is Jessica Norman, a senior at Olympic High School in Charlotte who was told she can't play soccer.
She took two advanced placement classes and one math class last semester. But since those AP classes are year round, she doesn't get credit for them until the end of the year. Therefore she doesn't have the three credits she needs to play.
I feel like my heart is breaking. I have been playing with these girls since elementary school, Norman said.
Norman wasn't told the AP classes wouldn't count, and her mother is upset about the ruling.
I have a daughter that could have graduated in December, could be in college now, but she wanted to play soccer and that dream is being taken away from her, said Jessica s mother, Cheryl Norman.
The rules changed in July, but Norman, who is one of at least three Olympic students having the issue, signed up for classes in May.
CMS says it is researching the incident
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association, meanwhile, issued a statement Friday at 4:15 p.m:
It is unfortunate that these student-athletes are ineligible to participate in the spring semester of their senior year, and the NCHSAA does not address credits in its rules in any way. But, the state does address that a student-athlete must take and pass a minimum course load in order to be eligible in the next semester. Minimum load is defined as 3 block courses, 5 traditional courses and/or 6 A/B courses, and there can be combinations. While you did not reference a specific student in your correspondence, the issues surrounding the students at Olympic indicate that a minimum load was not taken. The reason for that, I cannot address. In addition, you mention AP courses, but the kind of course does not affect eligibility it is type (as referenced above) that determines eligibility. Finally, our rules must be enforced so that we remain consistent in the application of our rules for all schools and we have done so in this case.