Spring student-athletes get another year of eligibility; winter athletes do not

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Kat Owens

One Roar field of Hunter Stadium. Photo by Kat Owens

Dominic Hoscher, Sports Editor

UPDATED – 1:00 p.m. 4/6 with information on Student Life Sports

Spring athletes will be granted another year of eligibility after losing their seasons to COVID-19.

“I am very supportive of providing these student-athletes with an additional year of eligibility,” Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Brad Wachler said. “The student-athletes deserve this year back so they can fish out the season on their own terms.”

This applies to athletes in lacrosse, baseball, and many other spring sports who couldn’t finish out their 2020 seasons. Earlier in the week, the NCAA Division I Management Council voted to allow the same eligibility to spring student-athletes at the Division I level.

Despite spring athletes being given this, winter sports will not be given the same opportunity. Sports like basketball and wrestling, whose championships were canceled, will not be receiving another year from the NCAA. Wachler understands the difficult decision that was made for these student-athletes.

“While I would love to see our athletes compete for another year and make a run for a national championship,” Wachler said, “I think the NCAA recognizes that this is a very slippery slope as it would be very hard to find a place to cut it off.”

Wachler said the NCAA could not justify a full year of eligibility for winter athletes who were “not able to compete in the postseason.”

As a leader in the athletic department, Wachler said this decision was not easy.

“It was very hard to witness the impact this cancellation had on our student-athletes and coaching staff,” he said. “We were competing at such a high level and I was excited to see how the year would play out for our sports programs. Unfortunately, we were not able to reach the finish line.”

As for student life sports, Wachler said men’s and women’s rugby is being considered for another year of eligibility, although the College Rugby Association of America has not ruled on anything yet.

“Student life sports are separate and not governed by the same entity, nor fall under the same set of rules,” Wachler wrote in an email.

The entirety of this pandemic’s effects on collegiate athletics was unforeseen. Seasons and careers have come to an unexpected halt due to coronavirus. But despite something that is out of their control, Wachler said he is proud of how the Lindenwood community has responded.

“Our academic staff and coaches have done a great job of connecting with our student-athletes to maintain a high level of engagement in a very unique time in our history.”

Spring sports getting one year of eligibility back:

  • Lacrosse
  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Track and Field
  • Baseball
  • Softball
  • Men’s volleyball