Students cannot hide their desperation during these last days of the semester. Most of them can no longer deal with the online learning that they did not sign up for, and others are trying to figure out how to perform a miracle with their GPA so that it ends just as high as they wanted at the beginning of the semester. College students and, among them, those that suffered from their athletic season being cut short, are wondering how the future is going to look like for their academic and athletic career. It is, without any doubt, the million-dollar question.
The level of uncertainty in the heads of college students has increased significantly, to the point that they do not know how the following weeks after the end of the semester will be. The pandemic has, in most cases, wiped out their summer employment plans and opportunities. Which plays a massive role in their future as students. Several internships were canceled, and the shortage of income may affect their financial availability to afford next semester’s college tuition. Educational institutions are conscious about this trend, and it made most of them lower the expectations regarding current students returning and new students committing.
Thinking long term and setting the basis of the worst-case scenario, there is an increasing possibility of the semester, Fall 2020, being affected by the new state’s lockdowns and regulations. Panic has corrupted the thoughts of those more pessimistic about the behavior and future of this virus that has already damaged them in unthinkable ways. Rising seniors are part of that collective of pessimist people, especially those who play fall season athletics and see their last year put in jeopardy.
Looking for inside information and opinions from students whose season is scheduled to be starting next August, a telematic survey has been carried out. Participation was critical for this little research that will bring some light to the question of what students honestly think about what is about to come. Forty student-athletes of different classes, genders, and programs participated in this project, and the results provided exceptional content.
Thirty-three people of the total submitters, 82.5%, declared being afraid of their season suffering any kind of significant change and cancellation. Just three people demonstrated their confidence in the season integrity, and four were not sure what to think. This first reality shows the real concern that invades players, which, it is essential to highlight, represent more than 70% of Greenville University student body.
Considering the case that no athletic schedule has to be changed, half of the students-52.5%, still show a conservative reaction. Pointing out that new preventive measures will be implemented somehow. Participants complemented their response, including some that, from their point of view and understanding, might be carried out by the athletic department. Absence of fans, fans wearing masks, reducing the number of games played and traveled, having athletes getting COVID-19 tested, or moving the start of the season to later in the semester are some of the solutions that GU students shared.
Besides that, three fall season student-athletes were directly asked about what their honest opinion on this topic is. Anna Finch, a women´s volleyball senior, highlights her “trust in the NCAA and GU athletic administration” in how they will handle the situation, mainly focusing on the health of both players and fans. She also mentions that, in the case of not being able to play, she will take the opportunity of studying a master’s program and play the always hated last season of her college career.
Kate Arthur, a senior on the women´s soccer team, hates to think about the NCAA canceling all fall season sports because of the hypothetical possibility of major events of college athletics, in this case college football, not being able to work financially.