LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) On Monday, the NCAA Division One Council voted to grant all spring sport student athletes an extra year of eligibility.
That decision by the NCAA could affect 166 Ragin’ Cajun spring sport athletes, including 37 seniors. Knowing how many athletes that extra year of eligibility impacts, Dr. Maggard knows it’s an opportunity his student-athletes deserved.
“Well I certainly support the ruling made by the council to allow spring sport athletes to get another year of competition,” Maggard says. “We know that not all of our student athletes will come back, and that’s not just here that’s nationally. Those who want to will get that opportunity, and that’s what is important.”
Awarding every spring sport athlete that opportunity comes with a cost — one that Dr. Maggard says the university vows to work through.
“We know they’ll be additional dollars necessary to bring the senior class back,” Maggard says. “Again, it’s about the opportunity for the student-athletes. Ultimately, it’s the right thing to do. We’re just going to have to get creative and find ways and resources to make it happen.”
The million-dollar question surrounds just how normal football season will be in 2020. Dr. Maggard says the Sun Belt Conference is hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst.
“I think at a minimum if we could at least get conference play in, we would have the opportunity to at least get the CFP. That’s really important from both a championship and financial standpoint. We’re all holding out hope. If come July or August we can get back to some normalcy, we’ll have to find ways to implement safety protocols for return to play. We will absolutely do that to make it all work.”
I asked Dr. Maggard if there were any chance a football spring game could happen later this year in the summer months. He said he wouldn’t hold out hope for that, as the football team is focusing on how to get prepared for the season in a potentially condensed version of the summer training.