LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) - The coronavirus has had a huge impact on the sports world, including right here in southwest Oklahoma where all Cameron University sporting events have been canceled until March 30.
Head Tennis Coach Josh Cobble says it’s been a difficult last few weeks for the athletes, many of who are international.
"They’ve already had those conversations with their families of what are you going to do over the summer. They’re looking at maybe staying here taking classes or trying to find a job for the summer. Because some of their situations back home are worse than they are here at this time. It definitely creates some uncertainty for them as they hear what some of the other schools across the country are doing,” Cobble said.
Athletic Director Jim Jackson said the coronavirus is impacting every athlete on campus. He said the players and coaches understand that safety is their first priority, but it doesn’t make it easier to handle the news.
"That’s the hard thing is getting in front of them and telling them that possibly your season is over. We have suspended to March 30 but you’re seeing what’s going on around the country. So quite frankly, it could be over, but we don’t know, we’re waiting to hear,” Jackson said.
Friday, the NCAA announced that spring sport athletes at division one schools will have an extra year of eligibility as a result of the cancellations. At this point, no decision has been made on whether or not that will also apply to division two schools, such as Cameron. But, both Cobble and Jackson are hopeful it will.
"For those that are going to be around, they would love the opportunity to be able to have some extra time to get back a season they might have lost because of something outside of their control. In reality, that’s something that happens with injuries, there are a million things that could happen that takes those situations out,” Cobble said.
"We always preach about what’s good for the student athlete. I anticipate that the NCAA will be compassionate towards those student athletes. But understand, if you’re a senior and getting ready to graduate, do you want to stay another year in college in order to play another year of sports. That’s a decision people are going to have to make,” Jackson said.
Jackson said the sports affected at Cameron right now are tennis, golf, baseball, softball, track, volleyball and basketball. Again, all of those sports are shut down until at least March 30.