NCAA votes to grant winter athletes additional year eligibility

NCAA+votes+to+grant+winter+athletes+additional+year+eligibility

Media Relations

Annalise Murphy, Editor-in-Chief

ESPN released an article stating that the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) voted to grant all winter student athletes an additional year of eligibility due to their seasons being canceled or postponed in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Back in March of 2020, right after COVID-19 swept through the U.S., the NCAA rule makers voted to allow all spring and fall sport student athletes to maintain a year of eligibility–no matter what portion of their season was impacted by the virus. West Liberty University, a division II school in Wheeling, W. Va., has been keeping up with all the rules and guidelines set by the NCAA.

Ross Salvatori, a West Liberty University baseball player, was initially shocked and disappointed after his season got canceled. “Our team spent so much time preparing for the season and for us to not truly see whether or not that hard work paid off really hurt,” Salvatori said.

Although the players are happy to gain back some lost time, some of the coaches of these college teams are not as eager. Some coaches are objecting to the one time rule change, claiming that they did not plan on athletes staying longer than their allotted four seasons.

However, some athletes feel that the NCAA made the right decision by letting the student athletes have their lost year of eligibility back. Salvatori said, “It gives athletes another year to play and end on their own terms.”

Anna Johnston, a West Liberty University women’s soccer player, was “gutted” when she learned that her fall season had been canceled, but also knew that it was the best for everyone’s safety. “I was really relieved when we were told we got another semester since it means I can still use all 4 years worth of playing time. I would feel robbed if the NCAA were to give it to the spring sports and not the fall sports so I think it was definitely a good call,” Johnston said.

As of today, no fall or winter sports have been authorized to compete, but they can still practice while following CDC and university guidelines to help stop the spread of COVID-19. To stay up to date on all news and events sports related at West Liberty, please visit hilltoppersports.com.