Coronavirus affects spring sports, ticket renewals
Just as things were getting exciting, the coronavirus forced ECU to cancel the remainder of the season for baseball, softball, lacrosse, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s track and field.
In addition, in late March the NCAA Division I Council announced underclassmen and senior student-athletes who competed in spring 2020 may be granted another year of eligibility in 2020-21 provided they meet the following criteria:
- The student-athlete used a season of competition in a spring sport during the 2019-20 academic year.
- The student-athlete was eligible for competition when he or she competed during the 2019-20 academic year.
- The student-athlete’s season was ultimately canceled for reasons related to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- The institution retains documentation on file clearly demonstrating the above three criteria were satisfied.
In addition, institutions can apply a one-year extension of the five-year eligibility clock for all spring sport student-athletes who were eligible for competition during spring 2020. For baseball, the NCAA approved a 35-man roster limit exemption, which means any senior who meets the eligibility waiver directive and returns to compete in 2020-21 will be exempt from the 35-man roster limit.
“Obviously, there is a financial component to this legislation, and while we don’t have a final financial number, I know it will be significant,” Jon Gilbert, ECU athletic director, said in an April 1 letter to fans. “It’s part of a financial plan we are currently working on internally as we navigate our way through these unprecedented times … but we are obviously going to see a significant decrease in revenue and distribution from the NCAA, AAC and other revenue sources.”
Gilbert also announced the following changes to the football season ticket program:
- The priority deadline for football season tickets set for May 1 has been postponed to June 10.
- All payment plans remain intact, and all tickets on a payment plan need to be paid in full by Aug. 5.
- The Athletics Ticket Office staff are working remotely and can be reached at AthleticTickets@ecu.edu, or leave a message at 252-737-4500.
The coronavirus also affected at least one former ECU athlete. Former Pirate pitcher Jake Agnos, now part of the Yankees minor league organization, spent two weeks in quarantine after a fellow pitcher in the organization tested positive for the coronavirus, according to a March 25 article in The New York Times.
Confined with teammates, Agnos spent time playing video games, competing in home workout contests and learning to play the ukulele, which he borrowed from one of his spring training roommates, Evan Voliva.
“It was not as tough as I thought it would be,” Agnos, 21, told the Times. “I’m still not good — trust me — but it’s fun to watch YouTube videos on how to play a song and then get it.”