Graphic by Serena Zuniga - Digital & Multimedia Editor
Because COVID-19 health and safety guidelines led to the cancellation of some student-athletes’ seasons in 2020, the NCAA has granted collegiate athletes an extra year of eligibility.
At California Lutheran University this extra year of eligibility can roll over into a graduate school program, if they choose to continue their athletics journey.
The CLU Sports website gives a breakdown of answers to questions students may have about their seasons and how they are being handled.
“Any spring sport student-athlete in 2020 did not trigger a season of participation, regardless of how many practices or contests they participated in… It’s as if this semester [or year] never happened from an eligibility perspective,” the website states.
In an email interview, Kingsmen Head Football Coach Ben McEnroe said he has informed his team of the opportunities they have when they graduate.
“We have made our players aware of the grad school opportunities at CLU in light of the pandemic and what’s available to them in the fall. One of our coaches has been in direct contact and several of our players are interested,” McEnroe said.
This option has always been available to student-athletes interested in graduate programs, but due to the circumstances, all student-athletes are now eligible for an additional year–even those who may not have been considering graduate school.
“They’ve always been able to do it. But there’s never been such a widespread situation where there’s every senior on campus, in theory, that’s playing athletics can come back and play into the next year because the season is not using eligibility,” Frank Marino, head coach of the Regals soccer team, said in a phone interview.
Marino said that if students attend school for four years, play all four years and then graduate, students would lose their eligibility if they continue into graduate school.
“They couldn’t really go to grad school and play anymore because they’ve used their eligibility,” Marino said. “But because this year’s not using eligibility, kids have the opportunity to use their year of eligibility that they are not using this year, and play another season.”
For more information about the graduate program, and the opportunity for student-athletes, you can visit the CLU sports website or you can visit the NCAA website for direct information about future collegiate sport information.