The NCAA’s decision to extend student-athletes’ eligibility has brought up a lot of questions. Who will be on scholarship if they accept the extra year? How many athletes from Gannon are staying?
This is an extremely busy time for Gannon athletics; however, I was lucky enough to talk to Dan Teliski, Gannon’s associate director of athletics. He was able to answer a couple questions and provide some insight into this whole situation.
Q: Currently is there a rough estimate of how many students are utilizing the extra year of eligibility?
A: “It’s unfortunately still too early to determine this at this point. We are currently in discussions with the coaching staffs and student-athletes in an attempt to determine the scope of this. There are still a lot of students undecided and also some who are still asking questions. Due to the fact that Gannon is a high-achieving academic school, most of our seniors are on pace to graduate in May. A lot of the senior student-athletes have job placements, rotations or similar situations. They are still determining what course would be in their best interest. I believe we’ll have a better feel for the number of senior student-athletes coming back next year within the next month.”
Q: If a senior decides to use the extra year of eligibility, will he or she remain on scholarship?
A: “ The NCAA has issued a waiver that allows institutions to exceed their NCAA-mandated athletic aid limits for 2020-21 only, but the only athletic aid that will be exempt is that of returning seniors. The university is currently trying to determine how many senior student-athletes are wishing to come back and how to work through that process, so it can make sure it remains within the mandated limits for the PSAC and university. As has been the thought mentality throughout the whole situation, the university continues to work through the processes with the student-athletes’ best interests in mind.”
Q: At this time, does the Athletic Department have an official statement?
A: “The last few weeks have represented a unique and unprecedented time. It has been fluid and changing at a rapid pace, almost hourly. We believe anything that is in the best interest of our student-athletes is good. The NCAA’s decisions to restore senior spring sports student-athletes year of eligibility and extend the 10-semester rule for those returning seniors affected were correct and in the best interest of our students. The NCAA is still working on questions that have evolved from these decisions, so the process continues to be fluid. Although we understand that the majority of seniors won’t be able to come back due to graduation, job placement, rotations and multiple other situations … we want to serve those who wish to come back and do everything we can for our all of our students during this difficult time.”
More information on compliance topics for student-athletes and other issues related to this situation can be found on the Gannon Athletics website at https://gannonsports.com/sports/2020/3/19/resources-for-student-athletes-during-the-covid-19-outbreak.aspx.
I thank Dan Teliski for answering our questions. and as always folks, GO KNIGHTS!