How redshirts will work with Lindenwood athletics during COVID-19

Climbing+up+the+rankings+in+a+hurry%2C+Lindenwood+baseball+got+off+to+a+15-1+start+in+2020%2C+winning+14+consecutive+games+up+until+this+point.

James Tananan Kamnuedkhun

Climbing up the rankings in a hurry, Lindenwood baseball got off to a 15-1 start in 2020, winning 14 consecutive games up until this point.

Brandon Clark, Reporter

COVID-19 has affected the entire world, including athletes who have taken quite the hit from the virus.

While it has affected pro players, COVID-19 has been especially difficult for athletes at the collegiate level. While pro athletes usually have contracts and extensions that last them several years, the college student has only four years to play.

The one way a college athlete can extend his/her eligibility is through a redshirt, which is when a college athlete is kept out of varsity competition for a year to extend their eligibility. Athletes particularly tend to redshirt in order to improve or work on skill for a longer period of time, but in our worlds current situation, its to save the season they just lost. 

According to baseball head coach Doug Bletcher, some athletes will be given the opportunity to get that extra year of eligibility.

We had a waiver of a season of competition for those that competed last spring for the 2019-20 season,” Bletcher said. “For the sport of baseball, we have a reduction in the amount of games overall for the upcoming season, but no other implications relating to waivers for the season of competition.”

Players will get the opportunity to redshirt for the 2020 season if they would like to, and still maintain another years worth of eligibility. The waiver of competition is essentially a win-win situation for all of the athletes on campus this year. If they have a season, they will get a chance to play, if not, they will be rewarded that season right back. 

Lindenwood vice president for Intercollegiate Athletics and Recreation Brad Wachler elaborated on a similar question asked to Coach Bletcher.  

It is not technically a redshirt, but all student-athletes participating in fall sports will not lose a year of eligibility if they were to compete at any point this year,Wachler said.  

Our fall sport programs will likely participate in the spring in a conference-only schedule with no NCAA championship and will still be able to maintain eligibility.” 

This means that football will most likely be played in the spring for the Lions this school year. 

There will be no consideration to participate in football this fall,” Wachler said. “However, the GLVC is looking at a modified conference schedule during the spring semester. 

Though COVID-19 has and will continue to affect society, student athletes will not have to worry about losing eligibility as a result of the virus.