The last few weeks have brought tremendous challenges, questions, and emotions as the COVID-19 story continues to unfold. With each decision we have made at Eastern Nazarene College and in our respective conferences of the NECC and GNAC, our student-athletes health and well-being have always and will continue to be our highest priority. As you already know, ENC and the NECC have now officially announced the cancellation of our spring athletics season, joining the GNAC that had previously announced a similar decision.
As we enter into this new reality, please know that our athletic staff and I sense the sadness that each of you are experiencing, especially our spring teams and student-athletes that were unable to complete their seasons. We will all miss supporting our spring teams. Not being able to cheer on men's volleyball, baseball, golf, and track and field will leave a hole in our collective experiences. We were all looking forward to supporting men's tennis and softball in their defense of last year's conference championships. And of course, we are aware of the great pain felt by women's tennis not being able to compete in the NCAA Tournament. Perhaps our greatest sadness stems from losing the opportunity to celebrate with our senior athletes in spring sports and all others during the culmination of their academic and athletic journeys.
While this news has been difficult to deliver, it is evident that it is much more difficult for you to process. In the midst of these decisions, I also want to provide some clarity to questions that have been asked regarding NCAA eligibility issues. Here is a statement from the NCAA that should help clarify:
Student-athlete seasons of participation and eligibility. The NCAA has approved a blanket waiver for all student-athletes participating in spring sports as follows: (a) Waive the use of a season of participation for all student-athletes in spring sports; and (b) Waive the use of the spring semester towards their limit of 10 semesters, regardless of whether they used a season.
If you have any questions about these eligibility issues, I encourage you to reach out to your coach, Toni Kabilian (617-745-3646) or me (617-745-3638). We are also available if you have other questions or needs during the remainder of the semester and throughout the summer.
Nothing can alleviate the disappointment and pain associated with the way the end of the semester and spring seasons have transpired. It is my hope that you will understand how we arrived at these difficult decisions. Know we are praying for you as we all navigate these unprecedented times.
Director of Athletics
Eastern Nazarene College