by RONIC NGAMBWE
As the season was abruptly brought to an end for spring athletes, changes to the recruitment process and summer programs due to the coronavirus may also impact the future of the teams.
Head volleyball coach, Alex Hinsey, said, “Every coach across the board and in the entirety of the NCAA is truly feeling the impact on recruiting which is much more prevalent right now and the impact of not being able to have prospective student-athletes visit campus.”
According to Jamie Tierney-Harris, the head field hockey coach, the athletic staff has been doing a variety of things to make up for the lack of in-person recruitment.
“Rather than on-campus visits, we’re doing a lot of phone calls and another coach put together a video to show the Fredericksburg area, take us along campus walk, some of the buildings. So I’m able to send that to players and other possible recruits so they get an idea of what campus is like,” said Tierney-Harris. Another area where the virus is likely to have an impact is in summer programs.
“We do run some camps and clinics over the summer. So again, we’re just kind of waiting to see after this initial kind of mandatory stay-at-home, what summer’s gonna look like. Between the University and the companies that I run camps through, everyone’s certainly pretty flexible in the decisions that maybe need to get made last minute or whatnot,” said Tierney-Harris.
Depending on what happens with the summer programs, it could affect employment for some student-athletes.
“Players will come, they help coach over the summer and be a part of camps and clinics that we’re running and they get paid for it. So there’s a little bit of a summer income for them so that’s always really nice but just like area parks and rec and private sports facilities, we’re just like all on hold right now…summer jobs and employment are things that will change the most for our players,” said Tierney-Harris.
Tryouts are also affected by the coronavirus for some teams. According to women’s soccer coach Scott Gerseny, the fall sport typically does tryouts in the spring so they don’t interrupt the regular season. “Students can contact me directly and according to NCAA rules they are allowed one day of training to try out,” said Gerseny.
For other fall sports like volleyball and field hockey, it is too early to tell whether COVID-19 will impact their tryouts in the fall.
According to Hinsey, “At this point, we have not been told by the NCAA or any other decision-makers that we will not be able to move forward as planned with our seasons which include tryouts, start times, and incoming students.”