LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - With the 2020 spring sports season for McNeese over, the main question— what’s next? While the NCAA hasn’t officially announced a plan on how to handle things from an eligibility standpoint, Cowboy baseball coach Justin Hill says it’s about focusing on student athletes.
“Why don’t we take care of these kids in every single way that we can to give a guy who has a chance to play one extra year of leverage?” McNeese head baseball coach Justin Hill asked. "The other people? They’ll be fine. What does it look like? Does that mean we can come out of pocket? I’ll raise all the money, I don’t care. I’ll raise every bit of it if I have to. Give every school an opportunity to do that. Some people aren’t going to do it then that’s going to happen. How do we need to make this work? I don’t know. I just know that people who are selfish right now don’t need to be making the decisions.”
Having to make huge decisions of their own are the 21 international student athletes on the McNeese track and field team who not only have to worry about life here but the lives of their families from around the world.
“We’re not going to hold a kid here when we have kids from four and five thousand miles away,” McNeese head track and field coach Brendon Gilroy said. “Some of them opted to stay and they’re here. That was one of the questions from one of our kids was were they going to be thrown out. No, we’re going to make sure we do what we can do for you.”
Recruiting is also something to take into account with the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt to high school sports around the country. While it could change the landscape of athletics as a whole for years to come, softball coach James Landreneau says keeping the best interest of the student-athletes in mind should be the priority.
“I don’t think we’re overly concerned with how we’re going to evaluate them," said McNeese head softball coach James Landreneau. "I think what’s going to be tricky is we have to bring some reassurance. We have incoming seniors that are like ‘Hey is this going to affect us? We signed scholarships to come play for you.’ You’re trying to reassure them that people are going to make the right decisions based on not penalizing young people. We need to try to find a way to make this work financially and however it’s going to look is about trying to make this work.”