COLUMBUS (WCMH) — March Madness never happened. Wrestlers left the mat before the national championships. Careers ended due to canceled events from the spread of the Covid-19.
It left athletes and their families devastated, investing so much time and effort into a dream never realized.
While college senior athletes in those sports will not get another opportunity, spring sport athletes will get another chance.
Monday the NCAA voted to grant an additional year of eligibility for spring sport athletes who missed their competitive seasons due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Those athletes will be permitted an additional year, including any scholarships for which they qualify.
For some athletes, they’ll simply head into the next phase of their lives and bypass the extra year. For some, it’s a chance to live out a missed opportunity.
The NCAA DI Council voted not to extend that opportunity to winter sports athletes.
A group of student-athletes drafted a petition to the NCAA ahead of Monday’s vote, asking in the spirit of fairness to grant all athletes, winter or spring, one more chance to compete if they elected to play. The athletes also asked the NCAA for funding relief for student-athletes caught in COVID-19 cancellations who need financial assistance for housing and food.
Many winter sports completed nearly all of their seasons before the cancelations, but none of the NCAA championship events were conducted in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey or wrestling.