Extra Year of Eligibility Leads to Success
By Evan White
The NCAA has announced that all winter athletes in the association will be given an additional year of eligibility. Along with this, all football programs across the country at the collegiate level, will be allowed to compete in at least one playoff game as well as bowl games regardless of their records. This comes after the rule changed with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Student-athletes who are set to graduate now have the option to both graduate and come back for another year while living off campus and start working towards their Masters degrees.
The NCAA board members previously voted to allow all spring sport athletes and fall sport athletes to maintain a year of eligibility. The same rule will apply for athletes who participates in winter sports. The NCAA did not hesitate to make this decision this year due to the fact of students opting to redshirt and sit the year out because of fears of their seasons getting cut short and impacted by the coronavirus.
Paul Sullivan, a redshirt junior at Quincy University, talked about how the team has responded to the unfortunate circumstances they have been faced with this year.
“We are scheduled to play later this month on March 27, while we were supposed to have a five-game season to make up for what we lost, the committee decided to change it to two games and give a playoff game after,” Sullivan said.
Student-athletes at QU have been contemplating about their futures as well as the recruitment process for those looking to go to a higher conference or even D1 next year. This can be best described as they are stuck between a rock and a hard place and just leaving this season up in the air as to whatever happens just happens, and they must accept that.
Athletes have been training on campus and have still been able to conduct team workouts while they get their reps in. Lazerick Hill, a junior at QU also spoke about what he and the team has been facing despite these challenges through the pandemic.
“We have a good team and new players that make us complete. We are much stronger this year in skill, as well as depth so everyone can really rely on the next man to get the job done and pick up the slack for another teammate. Our coach does a great job recruiting and last year we got off to a rough start and it did not finish the way we would have wished for, but I can honestly say we are back and much better,” Hill said.
As for the men’s basketball program, they were able to play over 20 games like they usually would, but this time they were forced to just play games inside the conference while facing each opponent 2-3 times throughout the season. With a bunch of new faces coming in the Hawks were a little shorthanded in depth due to a few players getting injured throughout the season, but the team still fought through adversity.
Jamaurie Coakley, a junior at QU, spoke about his optimistic beliefs on what he wishes to accomplish for next year.
“This season did not count against us, so it was good just to get our feet wet and even be able to play despite everything we went through this year. With so much stuff going on and some of us having to quarantine earlier on in the season, we were all able to come back together at full strength and win some games, I really like the coaching staff, the team, and the program here as a whole. Everyone is cool and we really like playing with each other so we look forward to turning this program around even more next year,” Coakley said.