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.
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.
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.
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
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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.