The COVID-19 Impact on Collegiate Sports
By Richard Lane
It is every young athlete's dream to take their beloved sport to a higher level, whether that means professional, or collegiate. However, this year, many of those dreams have been shattered.
For high level athletes that were looking to be recruited by NCAA Division 1 colleges are facing the most adversity right now. Currently, the NCAA has enacted a quiet period that lasts until January 1, 2021 for all Division 1 recruiting. What this means is that no Division 1 college coach can have face- to- face contact with any possible recruits or high school athletes.
Division 1 colleges can still talk to athletes over calls, social media, email, and etc. however, this makes it much more difficult since there can’t be any in person evaluations at the time.
However, the biggest roadblock for athletes in the class of 2021 that is preventing them from getting D1 recruitment, is 5th year eligibility. Since many sport seasons got cut short last year due to COVID-19, NCAA Division 1 programs are allowing 5th year eligibility, too give the athletes that got the short end of the stick a chance to finish out their sport in college. However, now the incoming freshmen in 2021 are getting the short end of the stick since so many colleges are keeping their seniors, meaning the amount of roster openings just shrunk substantially. Then the roster openings that still remained, were filled very fast.
Division 2, while being a division lower than D1, is still very desirable for athletes. However, since there were so many athletes that could’ve gone D1 were left unrecruited by Division 1 colleges, Division 2 colleges were quick to pick these athletes up. Now D1 rosters are basically set, and D2 rosters are basically set.
It was already a very difficult accomplishment to play collegiate sports and get recruited to a Division 1 or Division 2 program, but now for the high school class of 2021, it has become even more difficult.