By Elise Person, Staff Writer
The NCAA announced the suspension of all remaining winter and spring sports due to the evolving public threat of the new coronavirus, or COVID-19 on March 12. The following day, the Northeast Conference (NEC) announced the cancellation of all remaining conference games and practices for the spring season.
The same day as the NEC’s announcement, the NCAA also made a statement that they will grant all spring sport athletes an extra year of eligibility.
Logistics of how this will work, including scholarship money, roster sizes, and other issues, are currently in discussion among NCAA officials.
For all spring athletes, this was an unexpected and undesirable ending to a season that had just barely begun. However, for seniors in particular, this was an abrupt ending to a senior season and for some, the ending to their collegiate athletic careers.
Kendall Purdy, a women’s lacrosse senior, is one of the seniors whose collegiate athletic career came to an end due to the impact of the coronavirus.
“It’s always hard for a senior to go through their last game and come to the realization that they will never be able to lace up their cleats again,” Purdy said. “But for us this was different. We were blind-sided to say the least, and there was nothing we could do about it.”
Jackson Svete, a baseball senior, is in a different position than Purdy, as he plans to take advantage of the NCAA granting spring athletes another year of eligibility, despite learning about the cancellation of his season being heartbreaking for Svete and his teammates.
“Through the start of the fall semester, everyone is looking forward to Opening Day. To finally get to the start of the season, play three weekends, and then have it cancelled out of nowhere was terrible,” Svete said. “We worked so hard for months to not have any of it truly pay off.”
Along with other collegiate athletes across the nation, Svete is hopeful the coronavirus pandemic subsides and allows for NCAA sports to resume play come the fall 2020 semester. “I just hope that this pandemic goes away quickly so that we are able to play summer ball and continue with baseball next school year,” he said.