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The Impact of COVID-19 on College Athletics and Prospective Student-Athletes


As the dramatic spread of COVID-19 continues, it has unleashed physical and economic shockwaves through countries, industries and organizations across the world. As everyone is advised to stay inside, avoid physical contact and only gather in small groups, the sports industry has been hit hard. We've touched on how the coronavirus is affecting college sports.

From Olympians to whole sports leagues, the pandemic and its aftermath has affected every sport at every level. The whole world of college athletics has been witnessing the cancellation of season championships and seniors observed as the rest of their college career crumbled in the matter of weeks. With concerns about the safety and well-being of student-athletes, coaches and fans, NCAA made a number of important announcements that could affected current and prospective student-athletes.

Events cancelled

As one of the first things on the agenda, NCAA announced the cancellation of all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships and their related events. This included sports such as golf, tennis, lacrosse, baseball and more who had only played a fraction of their season. As every student-athlete was obviously upset about this, seniors were understandably heartbroken to finish off their career this way.

Eligibility

To soften the blow, NCAA announced in mid-march that seniors in Division I will be able to get an additional year of eligibility. Schools have the option to provide seniors with that extra year, but it can be costly to retain a larger roster which will likely be unattainable for a lot of schools. It's unclear how many will take advantage of the NCAA's offer.

Cutting costs 

The NCAA is experiencing loss of revenue associated with TV rights, ticket sale and livestream of championship tournaments, while the schools themselves are suffering as well. Many schools are heaving to cut costs, make staffing changes and in extreme cases permanently cut some of their smaller programs. Texas Tech had to cut the athletic program's budget by $7 million and The University of Cincinnati had to discontinue its men's soccer program, due to widespread uncertainty and an operating loss. Not all schools are going to such extreme measures, but every single one of them are having to reconsider the distributions of their budget and plan carefully with less revenue.

Recruiting changes  

To limit physical contact, the NCAA has suspended all in-person recruiting for D1 sports through June 30th. This means coaches cannot meet face-to-face with a recruit off campus and is encouraging the schools to cease all unofficial or official visits. However, recruits are still allowed to communicate with coaches via phone, email, text, facetime, social media etc. For D2 NCAA has imposed a "quiet" period from June 1-30 with in-person recruiting on campus allowed. Signing period has also changed for all divisions and sports, so prospective student-athletes need to ensure they always ask the coach or staff about next steps and when what is allowed.

Now more than ever, Incoming student-athletes need to be proactive in communicating with coaches and maximize their online presence. We recommend to always ask the coach and staff what is allowed

Now an online recruiting profile is more important than ever. 

Sign up with collegesport.us now and become visible for your dream school.

Reopening 

Finishing on a good note, it's important to look ahead with a positive mind. The NCAA continues to closely monitor COVID-19 with some areas seeing an increase in cases, while others are remaining steady. This means for every institution, the return of college sports will come at a different time and will certainly take a different form. The NCAA's COVID-19 Advisory Panel of leading medical, public health and epidemiology experts has put together nine core principles to help guide institutions as they answer these challenging questions with the safety and well-being of student-athletes as their focus. Right now it's a waiting game to see how the pandemic is moving and what can be done to mitigate risks. While it is still unclear when we will see the return of college sports, one thing is certain; it will return.

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Wednesday, 02 December 2020

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