As SUNY and CUNY schools prepare for a move to distance learning in response to the coronavirus, local college athletes are having their athletic semesters cut short.
All University at Buffalo spring sports and tournaments have been canceled due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
"Is there a sense of disappointment? Yes, there is. In my business, I work very closely with young people and obviously help them pursue their dreams of athletic competitions and it gets taken away but it's the right decision” said University at Buffalo Athletic Director Mark Alnutt.
"Obviously as schools move towards this online learning, it's come upon us to still best support our student-athletes from an academic standpoint to make sure they are able to make progress towards their degree,” Alnutt said.
Alnutt said he is looking for the possibility of giving graduating seniors a second chance in their athletic careers.
"I know there has been plenty of outreach to the NCAA. They're seeing what could be possible for those seniors who might have had eligibility going into the spring semester, if there is an opportunity to extend their clock, one more year. There's so much to work out but if that's an opportunity, that's something I would be supportive of to be able to give these kids a second chance so to speak” Alnutt said.
UB athletics still plans to support student-athletes whether they decide to stay on campus or return home. UB facilities and athletic services will remain operational throughout the semester for student-athletes who decide to remain on campus.