Athletes unsure about potential return in fall 2021 despite additional eligibility


Will Ortner

CWU’s fall athletes have been granted an additional year of eligibility, and Will Ortner plans to take the NCAA up on their offer.

Sean Bessette, Staff Reporter

The NCAA DII administrative committee recently approved a waiver that would allow all fall sport student athletes to play their sport’s maximum amount of competition and receive an extra year of eligibility.

The waiver would allow redshirt senior Will Ortner to play a potential season this year, if a season occurs, and another season in 2021. For Ortner, he just does not see a reason to leave yet.

“I’ll play football until someone won’t let me play football. I want a full senior year,” Ortner said. “I think we have a pretty good team here and I think we have a chance at making a far run, so why would I leave?”

The same message was echoed by teammate redshirt sophomore Tai-John Mizutani.

“As a team, we have a lot to prove and this is a great opportunity to showcase that,” Mizutani said.

Mizutani said there are a lot of competitors on the football team and he would take an extra year of eligibility. He views the extra year as more time to compete and prove himself to the coaches. Although the decision to take an extra year of eligibility is an easy decision for some, it is not for others.

“Everyone is their own individual. There are guys like me but there are also external factors that need to be thought about,” Ortner said.

Sophomore Peyton Vogel is experiencing those external forces. She would not take an extra year of eligibility. For her, it’s not just about playing soccer.

“I need to get on track with my career,” Vogel said. “We have had our lives planned out to where we go to college for these four years and play soccer and after those four years are up, we’ll start our careers.”
Vogel is looking to move back to California and start her career as a teacher. Taking an extra year of eligibility would mess up the timing of getting a job in the school district she wants to work at.
“The longer I wait, the messier it gets,” Vogel said.

The waiver the DII administrative committee passed is similar to the waivers passed on July 22. Those waivers gave student athletes additional eligibility if their team completed 50% or less of the sports dates of competition. Those waivers still apply for winter and spring quarter sports.

The committee decided to expand on those waivers passed in July for fall sports because fall sport athletes will not have the opportunity to compete for NCAA championships during the 2020-21 academic year.