Athletes mull extra year of ELIGIBILITY


Morgan DouglasContributor

Bancroft NicholsonContributor

Matthew Polek Contributor

Richard Souffrant Contributor

The student-athletes of Southern are already mapping out how they would like to use the extra year of eligibility to receive a higher degree.  

According to the NCAA’s official website, “Division II student-athletes will not be charged with the use of a season for the 2020-2021 academic year if their team can complete only 50% or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition because their season is canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.” 

SCSU men’s basketball head coach, and retired Chicago Bull Scott Burrell believes that the NCAA granting student athletes an extra year of eligibility will be an advantage.  

“I think it gives kids a chance to get a bachelor’s degree and get a chance to get a masters with another year of playing sports. Also, it gives them another year to prepare for life and the real world,” said Burrell.  

Although the student-athletes were looking forward to the 2020 season, they are making adjustments and staying focused on bigger-picture goals. 

“My plan was to dedicate myself to having the best season possible this fall, and give myself the chance to play professionally,” said Owls football cornerback Kwadir Delgado-McIntrye, a graduate student. “With that not being able to happen, I now have a chance to play in extra games [in the spring] and could possibly be receiving my MBA before leaving.” 

Men’s basketball guard Isaiah Boissard, a senior majoring in exercise science and human performance, said he is grateful for another year of eligibility. He can decide on whether he would like to stay with the Owls and complete his masters, or try to get a contract to play basketball overseas. 

If Boissard was to play basketball, he said he would be at the start of his career following his dream of traveling the world while making money. 

“If I were to stay, I’d be able to start my master’s degree and being blessed enough to be on a full scholarship debt free and of course another year with the team,” Boissard said, “but at the same time I don’t know how my age will affect me getting a rookie contract somewhere overseas.” 

Track and field athlete Ramsley Exantus, a junior, relates to this situation, having many senior athletes on his team who are experiencing the same issues on deciding what would be best for their future.  

“Some seniors had an opportunity to come back for an extra season due to the NCAA granting all seniors an extra season, but because of opportunities that are ahead they couldn’t come back even though they wanted to,” said Exantus.  

While health and safety remain paramount, the soccer teams had yet to see any opt-outs as of late November. Of course, circumstances change as time and COVID-19 progress. But as the spring season approaches, the hunger for more seemed to be a common theme amongst these Owls. 

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