Will spring student-athletes have one more year of eligibility?

Matheus Teles, Editor

After the American Midwest Conference announced the cancellation of all Spring 2020 sports activities on Friday, March 13, some questions came up in the minds of the student-athletes at Park University. One of the most asked, was if the seniors involved in spring sports would have one more year of eligibility.

Student-athletes in the NAIA are able to play for four years. With the season being abruptly over, seniors, in addition to all the other athletes, did not play every game they were supposed to. They ended their college career with an incomplete season.

The Park men’s volleyball team received good news. According to an email sent on  Monday, March 15, from the NAIA to their coach, Mike Talamantes, the seniors and all the other players from the team would be able to play one more year as a student-athlete because they would receive one more year of eligibility by the NAIA.

According to Mateus Nascimento, a senior libero majoring in international business, at the end of the team’s last practice, Friday, March 13, Coach Talamantes said that he would keep the team updated about the possible changes involving their season.

Later that day, according Nascimento, Talamantes said their season was over. Nobody knew what would happen about the situation involving the seniors. In the following week, Talamantes sent a message on their group chat saying that the seniors would be eligible to play another year.

“On a Monday after, he (Talamantes) texted in our group chat saying that NAIA gave us another year of eligibility,” Nascimento said.

The players had access to the email sent by the NAIA to their coach, and they were able to read all the information. In the email, there is a specific paragraph that mentioned the addition of one more year to every spring sport student-athlete.

“In an effort to provide relief, no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition,” he continued. “Any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.”

When asked about the addition of one more year of eligibility to all the athletes, Tyler Price, assistant director of athletics for media relations and marketing at Park University, said he was not allowed to comment on the situation.