GVSU Track & Field reacts to NCAA granting spring athletes extra year of eligibility 


GVL / Katherine Vasile

Holly Bihlman, Staff Writer

On March 30, the NCAA Division I Council voted to grant all spring athletes an extra year of eligibility, which is great news for the spring sports teams all across the country.

Along with many of the disastrous effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, the NCAA canceled the remainder of all spring and winter sports seasons, including the GLIAC Nationals for the Grand Valley State track and field team. In the insanity of the following weeks, spring athletes were left wondering what would happen to their season and everything they had worked so hard for; the seniors especially were hoping this wouldn’t be their last championship. 

Winter athletes will not be allowed to claim an extra year of eligibility considering they lost their postseason, however, many athletes will be able to compete for their full share of seasons. The only issue universities are seeing with this decision is the scholarship money that will have to be accounted for now that some athletes will be competing for one more year than anticipated.

GVSU athletes will be forced to make the tough decision of whether or not they will be able to afford one more year of playing for a university since the schools won’t be able to provide the same amount of scholarship money as before. Seniors will be especially pressed to make this decision considering they would be playing the 2021-22 season. 

 “I think it’s the right thing to do; I know many people had a lot weighing on this spring sports season,” said John Groendyk, a sophomore on the team. “This whole entire thing is a mess and many people are changing around their lives so that they can play that final season they’ve been working towards. For me, not having a spring season sucks in the short-term, but in the long-term, it gives me an opportunity to play the sport I love for another year.”

It certainly is a shame that the spring sports were cut short, but the NCAA ultimately made the right call to cancel all events amidst the worldwide threat, and the council is making up for the loss of a season with this eligibility offer. The sacrifice athletes made for the better of the worldwide pandemic situation is not overlooked, nor was it forgotten by the NCAA.

The most important thing is that the athletes are safe and healthy, along with the rest of the world during this trying time.