BY SHEM RIVERA AND MARK LIZANO
Given the unpredictability of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPP student-athletes have faced unprecedented situations including season suspension and no face-to-face interactions with the team. Still, for these student-athletes, their partial sports scholarships have not been affected, presenting at least one constant in a year of uncertainty.
When CPP sports came to a screeching halt in March, scholarships immediately became a point of concern with so much uncertainty around the situation.
“NCAA was early to talk about that stuff and set guidelines,” baseball Head Coach Matt O’Sullivan said. “They did not want each university to act a different way. They wanted to have a platform that would say these are the parameters on what we need to work with. The way they are designed is all for student-athletes and to protect them in these situations.”
The NCAA instituted a new rule due to the on-going pandemic called the opt out rule. This allows players to sit out the season without losing their scholarship. However, the players that choose to opt out are not allowed to participate in any team activities.
“You cannot play, practice, or participate in team meetings on Zoom,” said women’s basketball Head Coach Danelle Bishop.
The opt out rule is available to all student-athletes that are on a sports scholarship, but for some, it wasn’t worth considering.
Oscar Facey, junior midfielder, never gave the opt out option much consideration as he was eager to start being a Bronco after recently transferring from Bridgeport University in Connecticut.
“That wasn’t an option because I just transferred in and didn’t want to wait to start being part of the team,” Facey said.
For O’Sullivan, he understands the severity of the situation and remains supportive no matter what his athletes choose.
“With the opt out rule, anybody can make their own decision … I am very happy to have them opt out because, to me, it is an individual choice based off health. It is different for everybody and if anyone wanted to do this, we would be more than happy to help them during that period,” O’Sullivan said.
Student-athletes at CPP who received a scholarship have what is called a partial scholarship, which covers a majority, but not the entirety of tuition. Scholarship awards can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars.
The process of earning a scholarship can vary per athlete, but they all must meet the requirements for the NCAA and California State University guidelines including having a 3.5 grade point average, having a score of 25+ on the ACT or a minimum score of 1200 on the SAT.
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