The coronavirus, or COVID-19, has created a world of uncertainty for college students. Last semester was cut abruptly short, and students everywhere had to make the shift to online learning. What does this mean for college athletes?
In short, the NCAA states that all remaining winter and spring events have been canceled. The NCAA states that they have to protect the health of college athletes.
Overall, a number of college athletes have been diagnosed with COVID-19. The decision to cancel further sporting events is not only for the athletes. Events would not be the same without a crowd full of cheering fans. With current social distancing guidelines in the United States, this is not a feasible option.
At the technical level, this means that a lot of programs are losing money in their sporting departments. Some suggest that universities cut sports like volleyball, soccer, and baseball, to reallocate resources for “bigger” sports, including basketball and football. This decision would leave college athletes feeling lost—especially those who have worked their high school careers to play at the collegiate level.
It is unlikely that college sports will be able to pick up right where they left off whenever the coronavirus has run its course. Specifically, programs across the country are finding themselves with huge gaps to fill in both academic and athletic settings. The University of Akron has a $65 million gap that the president hopes to fill by slashing six of its eleven academic colleges. It cannot be expected to see this drastic change in the world of academia without similar changes in the athletic world, especially for schools that do not make huge profits of athletics.
It is expecting that COVID-19 will further the gap between the “big” schools in sports and everyone else. Although not everyone thinks this is a bad idea. Why are schools at the bottom competing with schools at the very top anyway? A lot of people think that this is a long-anticipated change that will now be able to be put into place. This could help even out the playing field, so to speak for the majority of the schools in the collegiate world of sports. This is one good thing that can come from the coronavirus!