Gym class teaches students how to be physically fit and how to make choices to stay that way. Where as a sport will teach an athlete to be physically fit but may not teach them to stay that way for life. Also being an athlete is a privilege so all though it would be nice to have an extra study hall it is not necessary. Student athletes should know what they are signing up for. The academics are what is supposed to come first because without the academics one would not be able to be a student athlete. In addition to these things gym class is a welcome break for a day that is otherwise filled with academic work.
I don't believe High School athletes should have to take gym. A typical varsity athlete practices every day for around 2 hours. A normal gym class takes place every other period for 45 minutes. I don't see the point in that when we could be use that time for other responsibilities. Athletes could use that free time to do homework and catch up with anything they are behind in. Some of us athletes are trying to get a scholarship to play in college so that free time could be very helpful. It is sometimes difficult for an athlete to participate fully in gym class knowing they have a game that afternoon. For example, the pacer test can be very exhausting and then having to go play a game at the end of the day when you're tired. It can interfere with the way you preform. Someone who doesn't participate in a varsity can't understand how demanding and time consuming it can be.
To be able to participate in sports is a privilege not a right. It is called a student athlete for a reason. The word student comes before athlete. Studies for school come before being an athlete. A student should not participate in athletic activities if they are unable to meet the prior demands of their academics. As nice as it would be for athletes to have that extra free period instead of physical education that should not be necessary. If one is unable to handle the world of high school academia and the demands of a varsity sport how can someone expect them to be able to handle college courses along with sports which are much more demanding.
Gym classes need to the student athletes to serve as roll models for the class. They are the ones who will know what to do and can be there to help their classmates. While helping their classmates these students will be able to develop leadership skills that will help them for the rest of their lives. Student athletes may not have these opportunities without taking physical education.