With Sunday’s decision from the NCAA to give student-athletes in spring sports an extra year of eligibility, options were finally presented to programs and athletes. On Monday, four of Ohio State’s spring sports coaches took part in a conference call to talk about how this decision has affected them and their programs.
Taking part were men’s lacrosse coach Nick Myers, women’s lacrosse coach Amy Bokker, men’s tennis coach Ty Tucker, and baseball coach Greg Beals.
Overall, this decision affects 12 men’s and women’s sports at Ohio State.
The university has already determined that they will provide aid to the returning students at the same level they had last year.
Nick Myers, Men’s Lacrosse
+ Started by saying how grateful the coaches are for this ruling. The challenge of the unknown over these last few weeks for the seniors was tough. This ruling for an extra year was a relief because it eliminated the unknown.
+ Gene Smith has been incredible in communicating everything. They were all on a conference call last night immediately after the ruling. Smith reassured the coaches that OSU would be paying for the aid for the seniors because the coaches were very stressed about that.
+ Myers got to make some happy phone calls to seniors last night.
+ They knew the ruling was coming down, but they didn’t know about the financial aspect exactly. Men’s lacrosse has 12.6 scholarships to use, so the financial burden is very personal to each athlete. There was 10 seniors on this team, so Myers met with each of them and they talked about what was best for the students. Some of them would not have been able to return if not for OSU providing the same aid they did the year before for those players.
+ Asked if there is concern about revenues drying up, Myers mentioned Ryan Day’s “win the moment” stance, and that’s what he’s focused on. “We’re going to win today.” They will focus on what they can control and have confidence that the athletic department will do what’s best for lacrosse.
+ There are no players who are on full scholarship. Players who return will only have the same partial aid they had before and they will have to make up the rest just as they always do.
Amy Bokker, Women’s Lacrosse
+ Echoing what Nick Myers said.
+ Everybody is sitting at home alone with questions, but to have the leadership of Gene Smith and have that support has been phenomenal.
+ It was great to be able to tell their athletes that they have a choice to come back. They have options.
+ Gene Smith was committed every step in finding answers for the coaches’ concerns.
+ It is clear that Ohio State leadership is all about these student-athletes and their welfare. Just giving the athletes an opportunity to continue their experience makes her proud to be a part of this university.
+ Going into this profession, you consider yourself a source of mentorship and education. You want to give back and provide lessons for young people and help them give back to the community and chase their dreams. Some of her seniors will pursue graduate programs. Two of them have great jobs already lined up and will be moving on to their next step. “I’m just glad they had a choice.”
+ There were seven graduating seniors on this year’s team and two will return. The two returnees were captains.
+ Senior captain Jill Rizzo was texting Amy the day of the vote asking for updates. She was excited to get the news that she could get another year.
+ There is one player who is on full scholarship. Women’s lacrosse has 12 full scholarships.
Ty Tucker, Men’s Tennis
+ Last night was a happy time.
+ “I just want to feel like a coach again.” He was able to feel like a coach again last night. It was great to call Kyle Seelig who was the only senior on the team and tell him he could come back. His family was happy as well.
+ The compliance department has done an unbelievable job handling his concerns. “I don’t know if the other coaches are as wild as I am…”
+ Kyle would have done anything to get an opportunity to come back. A year ago they had four seniors, and that would have been a tough situation. This year he got off easy with one senior.
+ It would be devastating to miss out on Ohio State football because he’s a fan and an alum. He doesn’t like too many things better than Ohio State tennis, but Ohio State football is one of them.
+ There are zero tennis players who are on full scholarship.
Greg Beals, Baseball
+ “Our leadership has been elite during this time. It has been swift with getting us the information we need. It starts with Gene Smith, but includes the entire leadership group.”
+ “It’s student-athlete first.” That was where they started with making sure they stayed healthy, and that continued last night to make sure those seniors would be able to return.
+ The worst thing as a coach is when you feel like you can’t help, so it was nice to have that information last night and get the information to the players so they weren’t getting their info from social media.
+ The choice the seniors have is great. They will be exempt from the scholarship count this year. But there will be challenges. There are nine freshmen on the team who will be reclassified as freshmen, and he’s got another 11 freshmen coming in with the incoming class, so he’s going to have 20 freshmen on the team and they’ll have to figure out the scholarship breakdown moving forward.
+ Beals isn’t completely sure which seniors will be returning, but has a pretty good idea because they were talking about this before the decisions were made.
+ There are zero baseball players who are on full scholarship. Baseball allows for 11.7 scholarships.
+ Last week he was excited to watch the ’79 Phillies-Cubs game, so he isn’t alone in missing sports. He misses the competition.
+ He’s happy that his seniors will now have closure.