The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire country to a standstill. The sports world has been affected with every sports league either canceling or suspending play. Major League Baseball has also decided to push back opening day.
The NCAA was hit as hard as anyone as March Madness was canceled. Spring football was brought to a halt.
The end of March Madness was sad on many levels. Kids who were seniors had their collegiate careers end prematurely, while spring sports such as baseball or softball didn’t even get the opportunity to have a full season.
On Friday, the NCAA finally did something right, granting all spring athletes an extra year of eligibility.
Division I Council Coordination Committee agrees eligibility relief is appropriate for spring sports: pic.twitter.com/u7hwYOyTDV— Inside the NCAA (@InsidetheNCAA) March 13, 2020
This is terrific news. And, it is the right thing.
We aren’t accustomed to the NCAA doing the right thing by student athletes. On Friday, they didn’t drag their feet, instead immediately announcing any athlete who participated in a spring sport would gain back that year of eligibility.
There were no statements about how the powers-that-be had to figure out a strategy to make this work. Nope.
Now, we wait for the NCAA to do the right by the athletes who participated in winter sports, such as basketball. While the Virginia Tech men’s team was young and not going to the NCAA Tournament, things were quite different for the Lady Hokies.
Virginia Tech and women’s coach Kenny Brooks have done a phenomenal job turning that program around. When it was announced that March Madness was canceled, senior guard Taja Cole sent out a beautiful tweet to Brooks.
I love you Pops @CoachBrooksVT . Everything we talked about in April 2019 we turned into reality. We had a great season & you took my game to new heights. God I wanted to go get that NCAA tournament so bad for you, my teammates and this state pic.twitter.com/xa8nZit9IZ— T Cole (@TCOLE_0) March 12, 2020
If that doesn’t make you feel for these kids, then, well I do not know what to say.
Hopefully the NCAA does right by these kids, too.