Uncertainty and complications around spring-sports athletes' eligibility

Published: Apr. 7, 2020 at 5:46 PM CDT
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There's still a lot of uncertainty and policies to work out with college athletics due to COVID-19. The NCAA already ruled that spring-sports athletes will be granted another year of eligibility.

That means seniors who missed out on finishing their final collegiate season can come back next year if they choose. But part of the NCAA's ruling says universities can decide how much financial aid to provide returning seniors, anything from nothing to how much they received this year. There also won't be any roster limits next season.

Aggie softball coach Jo Evans and Aggie baseball coach Rob Childress say it's a complicated issue.

"These are different times than we've ever been under. From the standpoint of lost revenue and different things like that and all the unknowns. But that's something, historically, we've done each and every year, is help those kids out with their 5th year aid. Hopefully, that will be something that we continue to do," said Childress.

Evans chimed in, "For instance, roster size. If every one of our seniors came back, we would be at 32 on our roster. Not even enough lockers in our new locker room for that many players. You're talking about how many players you have to leave home and aren't able to travel. You look at the expense on the athletics department. There's a lot to consider. You think about the players who are sophomores and juniors moving in to being upper-classmen and ready to take on leadership roles, and now having that senior class back again, and what that does for that dynamic."

"We have the number 7-ranked recruiting class coming in as freshmen. They're all really talented. Those kids are expecting to break into the lineup. They've got a great shot to do that, but it makes it more challenging when you're adding people to the roster," Evans added.

The Aggie softball team has five seniors on their roster right now who have the opportunity to return next year.

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