Nearly every industry has been affected by the coronavirus, including NCAA athletics that canceled all winter and spring sports championships in attempt to minimize the spread of the virus.
This includes college basketball and the Oregon State Beavers, who were ready to play in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 Tournament before being told the tournament and the rest of the college basketball season was canceled.
"When we broke the news to them, you can imagine the news just from the high that we were on, you know the day before (coming off a game-winning three-pointer to defeat Utah in the Pac-12 Tournament), the excitement we had for what was next. We knew our postseason implications were sitting pretty good after the Utah win, you know, and from there who knows?" said head coach Wayne Tinkle on the latest Talkin' Beavers Podcast.
Tinkle later talked to host Nigel Burton about whether he'd support the NCAA granting additional eligibility for athletes affected by the cancellation of NCAA Championship events in wake of COVID-19.
Well what we're hearing is that..it could be too tough of a decision, just too much that goes into it. You know, you're talking about extra scholarships and that obviously means money... I see both sides...Life rarely gives you do-overs and we got through a big part of our season, right? Now, that being said there's no experience like postseason play and that college window is so small... you really want these student athletes to enjoy the most and have the best experience...the reality is life's not fair. - Wayne Tinkle
The NCAA is already looking into granting extra eligibility to spring sports athletes who barely got to play their respective seasons, but are more up in the air about winter sports athletes.
Tinkle says if it were up to him he'd want to give seniors the option to come back, although there may be some logistical problems.
I'm all for these seniors that didn't get a chance to go out the way they wanted to, in the spring sports especially, to have another year of eligibility but man it's going to bring up a lot of issues with scholarships and where that money comes from. - Wayne Tinkle
However, despite the logistical issues, he'd support it for winter sports athletes too because they missed out on invaluable postseason experience: "if somebody called me and asked for my vote, I'd support it just because of [the missed postseason] because you want to give these folks the best experience that they can have in their time here at the collegetic level."
The Beavers head coach added that if his son, Tres Tinkle, had the chance to come back he doesn't think he would because it'd be his sixth year, he already has his degree, and "he's ready for the next phase." Tres became the all-time leading scorer in Oregon State history last season.
Oregon State women's basketball star Mikayla Pivec said if she was offered an additional year of eligibility she'd take it "in a heartbeat."
There has not been an official word yet on whether senior winter sports athletes will be granted an additional year.
You can listen to the Talkin' Beavers podcast here.