SOU student-athletes face tough decision after bizarre month in sports world

ASHLAND, Ore. — Spring sports have been canceled for every level across Oregon. For senior student-athletes who were looking forward to their final year of competition, they’re now faced with a choice.

Spring sports across the country have been canceled or postponed in response to the coronavirus. Now, Southern Oregon University athletes who were supposed to be heading into their last season of competition are now facing a difficult decision.

“The NAIA did say they’re going to honor eligibility for those student-athletes if they want to return and compete,” SOU Athletic Director, Matt Sayre said.

For seniors like Arianna Daniel, who was set on the 2020 season being their last, she says she feels even more pressure to figure out what life will look like without sports.

“Are you gonna stay next year are you gonna run? But my mindset is I’m done with school and I’m going to be done in the Spring,” Daniel said. “It’s hard to rewire and be like I’m doing another year of school because it’s another year of school.”

SOU Athletic Director Matt Sayre says if those seniors want to come back, the door is open.

“Yes, they can come back and get their master’s degree here at SOU and they’d be eligible to play or they could get a second baccalaureate degree,” Sayre said. “They can also employ what’s called the senior exception and not going to have to enroll in full-time terms.”

Arianna doesn’t know what she’s going to do. She’s still trying to come to grips with what’s been the most bizarre month in the history of sports.

“It sucks but we have each other and we have our coaches and our families and everyone is going through something similar so it’s not crashing in on us.”

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