By: Tamara Omer
After the NCAA’s announcement about enforcing a nationwide cancellation of the rest of the spring season, college athletes were devastated nationwide. It was especially a loss for seniors to miss out on their final season. However, on March 13, NCAA DIII announced that they will be giving relief eligibility to athletes who played spring sports and had their season cut short due to COVID-19.
While the decision does provide an opportunity for athletes to come back and play a completed season, some athletes are under circumstances that will not allow them to return.
“Personally, I won’t be coming back to play next year; it’s hard to justify coming back,” said senior Paige Haskins.
Haskins was an attacker for the UMW women’s lacrosse team. She expressed that her main reason not to come back for another season had to do with educational reasons. Haskins explained that she does not have any more classes to take, as she is in the mathematics program and will have finished all her required credits. There are not any fifth-year grad programs offered for mathematics at UMW.
“It’s not going to work out for every senior,” said head baseball coach Kelly Swiney. “But, at least it gives them the opportunity to come back to Mary Washington to start their master’s degree and it gives them the opportunity to go to another university for their masters and play for another season.”
Swiney spoke to all four of the seniors on the team about the possibility of them coming back to play next spring season. A few of them expressed interest in playing next spring, while one of them decided to return. He said that he invited all of them to come back, and would be excited to see them play another season.
He explained that returning for the spring season may not be possible for some athletes due to the costs of paying for an additional semester. Another reason? Finding a job post-graduation.
“I’m disappointed with the way the season ended so abruptly,” said freshman tennis player Abby Moghtader, “but I’m glad that [the NCAA] gave this option for another season, [to] students, especially seniors, so they can prove just how skilled they are in their sports overall.”
Moghtader said it’s possible two or three athletes on the tennis team that may stay for the next spring due to their high ranking last season and their overall excitement towards playing another season.
While the NCAA’s decision does give undergrad students the opportunity to return next spring, Moghtader thought that the eligibility benefited seniors more. She said she was uncertain about coming back to play next spring since she had another three years to improve athletically throughout the rest of her time at Mary Washington.
Overall, the NCAA’s decision has some benefits in assisting athletes by giving them an extension. While the decision may not apply to every athlete, there are some that are able to take advantage of the opportunity.