Alabama Crimson Tide: Extra year of eligibility not enough for seasons cut short

(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
(Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images) /

As a result of the Coronavirus cutting seasons short, the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to all Alabama Crimson Tide Spring sport athletes. This waiver did not include Winter sports like basketball who lost the end of their seasons.

We are living in the most unexpected of times… those of which will go down as one of the major moments in history. Restaurants, schools, gyms, and other non-essential businesses are closed,  and it seems as though a nationwide shut down looms. All Alabama Crimson Tide sporting events and practices have been canceled.

The jokes are abundant around social media as society learns to live without sports. The NBA, NCAA, PGA, and others have all canceled their seasons. ESPN is forced to show reruns of old sporting events to keep the network running.

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball and softball seasons had just gotten started as the announcement was made to initially postpone then cancel all NCAA sporting events. Not only were games canceled, as Universities moved online, student-athletes had to leave campus as all facilities closed. They are all theoretically now home with their families dreaming about what could have been.

While the Alabama Crimson Tide basketball team was struggling to remain on the bubble of making the NCAA tournament with endless injuries mounting, both the softball and baseball teams had a strong start to their season.

Nate Oats did not have the opportunity to lead the Tide through the SEC tournament in what could have saved face for some of the Tide’s embarrassing recent losses to teams like Vanderbilt. The season ended on a sour note but with plenty of high hopes moving forward.

The Alabama Crimson Tide baseball team was on a 16-1 stretch before the news broke and had finally earned a top 25 ranking. Redshirt senior and pitcher Kyle Cameron shared his heart on Twitter after the SEC officially canceled the rest of the season.

Alabama Crimson Tide softball senior Sarah Cornell shared similar feelings on her Twitter account as a result of the news.

While the NCAA did grant an additional year of eligibility to all seniors in Spring sports, the decision is not enough. While they absolutely deserve the right to end their sports careers on their own terms, it still won’t be the same.

Many seniors having finished degrees among other reasons may not decide to stay. Despite anyone’s best efforts, it won’t have the same effect as their true senior season that was just ripped away too soon.

Winter sports athletes do not even get the opportunity to make that decision. Basketball teams will never know what could have been. They will never get the chance to be the Cinderella team during March Madness. They do not get to prove they were the bracket buster team.

It’s not fair. The extra year of eligibility for spring sports athletes is a band aid on a broken arm that cannot be fixed. There is no right answer or easy fix. The NCAA can try its best to recreate the season next year for these athletes, but the story will always be tainted by the virus. The virus is now affecting people’s stories without infecting them personally.

My heart breaks for these seniors. They worked their whole lives to make it in their sport. They sacrificed so much growing up and throughout their college years. Some now will never get to experience their Senior Day Ceremony for their respective sports. They do not get the opportunity to be recognized for all their years of work. Many students across the Universities around the country will not get the chance to walk across the graduation stage to receive their diploma.

These are major life moments that cannot be made up. Despite all the bad news, some players are choosing to see a glimmer of hope in a depressing situation.

Next. What does Spring mean for Fall?. dark

Alexis is right. May we all continue to make lemonade out of lemons.