It’s no secret that this pandemic has taken over people’s lives. It has hurt some more than others, but for student-athletes, it has been detrimental.
When the news first came out that the NCAA canceled all events due to the virus and slowly all the conferences did as well, my heart fell for the seniors of all these programs. Senior year was the most meaningful time for me and I can’t imagine what some of these athletes are going through. Not being able to finish their final year on a strong note is just unlucky and out of their control, but when students started petitioning for a ‘Red Shirt Year’, I thought, “what a great idea!”
The first posts I saw were on Instagram of athletes posting a series of photos about their last year coming to a close, videos of people crying and really complete chaos all around. Even coaches made statements to get the NCAA’s attention. Lucky enough for these seniors, the NCAA took notice and is now awarding them another year if their season was cut during the spring of 2020.
My first thought was what would I do if this were me? At first, I was like that is amazing I wouldn’t even hesitate and take the opportunity, but another part of me was concerned about putting my body through another whole year of intense activity. Once I gathered my thoughts, I knew that whoever doesn’t take this opportunity is crazy. You are getting another year paid for to play the sport that you love and have dedicated your whole life to, I mean who wouldn’t want that!? Besides that, if you completed your senior year and were set to graduate on time, you’d have the chance to begin a masters. You’d be one step ahead of the game and close to reaching a great career. Almost every senior I have talked to is not letting the opportunity slip through their fingers, they are taking it and without a doubt, I would too.
As for the professionals, even Wimbledon and the Olympics were canceled! What does this mean for them? Since most people are in quarantine I have seen the pros remain active on social media, more specifically Roger Federer. A video of him hitting volleys up against a wall has gone viral and people are recreating it and tagging him, leaving him to repost. I think that is super cool and a way to keep people engaged throughout the pandemic.