Nearly 10,000 student-athletes had their seasons canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic on Thursday evening. The decision was announced by the California Community College Athletic Association, who restored the athletes’ eligibility and also prohibited recruitment for the next month.
The CCCAA first postponed spring sports on March 12 following an emergency Board of Directors meeting. Following that meeting, schools were told to “immediately postpone practices outside of regularly scheduled classes, and competition for all spring sports, as well as all nontraditional sports seasons, indefinitely.”
Now, as schools throughout the state, including SAC, are closed indefinitely, the CCCAA Board of Directors again reconvened, and “with the uncertainty about when conditions will improve,” voted unanimously to cancel all spring sports seasons.
Marissa Ross, head coach of the Dons softball program, was pleased with the CCCAA’s decision. “This is what we were hoping for. All of the current athletes deserve the opportunity to play a complete year.” She continued, “I know academically some of the sophomores are ready to move on.”
For Dons baseball coach Tom Nilles, the decision isn’t clearcut. “I am excited for the guys that have the opportunity to come back and compete for SAC,” he said via email. “That being said, although the CCCAA has said everyone gets another year of eligibility, it still needs to be approved by the NCAA for it to really make a difference for our student-athletes.”
NCAA Division I leadership has not yet decided on the future eligibility of its nearly 180,000 student-athletes. According to the association’s most recent press release, the Division I Council “agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports,” but that “details of eligibility relief will be finalized later with input from the Division I membership.” The Administrative Committees for DII and DIII have already “granted an additional season/semester of eligibility for student-athletes participating in spring sports.”