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Student Athletes Worry About College Scholarships During Pandemic

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Worried about the ongoing pandemic, colleges are cutting sports budgets and canceling games, tournaments, and training camps, leaving student athletes worried about their college scholarships.

According to a survey conducted by financial services company TD Ameritrade, 47 percent of student athletes believe canceling sports this season could put their college scholarships at risk.

While some colleges have gone to remarkable lengths to save their sports seasons — including testing every player and coach for the virus every day — dozens of universities rescheduled or canceled sports in fear of infections.

‘Why Do We Have So Many Sports?’

The pandemic has dealt a huge blow to the college sports scene, leaving athletes on their toes about their careers.

The Director of the College Sport Research Institute at the University of South Carolina, Richard Southall, believes colleges will have to make some tough decisions regarding sports budgets in 2021. 

“Individual athletic departments are going to have to grapple with the issues of, why do we have so many sports? Why should a sport be a varsity sport instead of a club sport?” he told CNBC

While some college football conferences have returned to the scene, many low-revenue sports such as swimming and golf are still waiting to make their comeback.

Seasons Derailed, Programs Cut 

Last month, the Ivy League presidents decided to cancel winter sports and postpone spring sports, citing a spike in coronavirus cases in the country.

Although the Ivy League became the first Division I conference to cancel winter sports, other major conferences such as the Big 10 and Pac-12 also canceled fall competitions because of infections. 

The Southeastern Conference, home to football powerhouses like Alabama Crimson Tide and LSU Tigers Football, postponed four games last month after players tested positive.

In light of the recent cancellations, coaches are now recommending that athletes explore other options for college. They are suggesting junior college programs so that high school athletes can play at the next level in one or two years.

Despite the uncertainty around athletic scholarships, athletes are not giving up. They are setting up Zoom meetings with college recruiters, attending livestream camps, and uploading skills videos online to keep themselves up and running.

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