(Photo courtesy of DVC Athletics)
With every passing day, the professional sports world—from Major League Baseball to the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League—remains at a standstill. A big question mark still lingers whether the National Football League, whose players have so far succeeded in staying somewhat active, will have a fall season.
But with the stoppage of public sporting events across the world, including the 2020 Olympics that were scheduled to be held in Japan, the virus has not only affected professionals but also college athletes who have worked hard to prove themselves—including at the junior college level.
Many of these students, who rely on a slim chance to get a scholarship to a Division 1 school, could lose their shot at being able to transfer without the coveted admittance letter. Even in normal times, scholarships are rare to come by; according to the Washington Post, only 8 percent of students acquire some form of aid via scholarship, whether directly out of high school or leaving a junior college.
At Diablo Valley College, the crisis is impacting every student-athlete who is looking to make a name for themselves.
Paige Sitton, a DVC student, felt a sense of shock that many students had suddenly lost the chance to show their athletic worth and potentially gain scholarships to four-year schools.
“It hurts me most knowing that the men and women at DVC cannot show their ability and talent on the sports field, or in the swimming pool or gym,” he said.
Sitton suggested that students who miss out on their sports season should be given some form of compensation or financial relief if they plan to transfer to a four-year college.
“Colleges should give these athletes the chance to be compensated in some way, as many of them pray on the slim chance that they can get either a full ride, or some relief when going into the college of their future,” he said.
Because DVC is in the D2 sports division, its athletes competing for scholarships to prestigious universities are at a disadvantage compared with students from D1 junior colleges, where scouts often look to recruit five-star athletes at the highest competitive level.
Maya Michta, a DVC student and San Francisco Giants season ticket holder, said she understands the pressures student athletes are under to show off their talents while playing at different levels of competition.
“For these athletes in college, it’s like playing triple-A baseball in the pros versus playing in the majors—in this case, junior college and division 1 JCs,” Michta said.
“College recruits will almost always prefer the athlete playing the tougher teams (D1 junior colleges) in their sport,” she said, “but because of the virus, other athletes in lower levels cannot show off their skills, even against weaker teams, which really hurts their chances of getting scouted and offered a scholarship.”
With sports seasons now cancelled throughout the country, and possibly extending through the fall, the majority of student athletes may have little luck getting an opportunity to fulfill their dreams. Even for those athletes who have already been accepted into their colleges of choice, sports programs don’t appear to be making a return anytime soon. For now, it’s not only the players in the NHL but every student athlete whose plans, it seems, have been put on ice.