NAIA call it quits: William Carey trying to prepare for future

By ANDREW ABADIE,

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) decided Monday to cancel the spring 2020 sports season due to COVID-19, effective immediately.

“The Executive Committee voted unanimously to cancel the spring sport season,” William Carey Athletic Director DJ Pulley said. “We kind of expected it honestly and it’s the right thing to do. It’s a situation that is unprecedented for all of us as we go through this daily. It’s disappointing for the kids but the NAIA did take the right step and agreed immediately today to give the spring sports kids another year of eligibility.” 

The NAIA also decided that no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition, and any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.

However, as of now, the NAIA has not put together a plan on how it will proceed with giving athletes the extra year of eligibility.

“When it came out that was one of the things that NAIA did not mention,” Pulley said. “For us it’s financial aid limit, NAIA is a little different than NCAA so I don’t know what NAIA is going to do. They asked us to send an email to the commissioner which we compile questions. We were in a conference call when we got the email. My first question was if they are going to give an exception to financial aid limit because there are situations where you are thinking they graduated and you have already found somebody in their spot and now you have them back. I don’t know what’s going to happen there.

“I’m sure the NAIA will pass something because everybody is in the same boat now. We basically have a whole senior class back and you have already recruited a lot of your freshmen class or transfers. I’m sure it’ll get all sorted out in the coming weeks.”

According to Pulley, the situation could still change as more information changes the situation with coronavirus, which was an issue the NAIA had dealt with earlier.

“It’s a tough situation,” Pulley said. “It’s still hard to grasp what’s going on because it changes every few minutes. Saturday it was gatherings of 250, and I think there was a time there we thought maybe we could continue. Obviously the NCAA has larger crowds but we were thinking to limit it to moms, dads and grandparents and get a small crowd and make that work. But then it dropped to 50 and now it’s down to 10. I had a staff meeting called for Monday that I had to cancel with my own coaching staff.” 

Notably, the William Carey softball team held a 14-3 overall record while the baseball team held an 11-11 record. The outdoor track and field team entered its season with high expectation after winning the national championship in indoor track and coming off its runner-up performance a season ago. Other sports effected by the cancellation are tennis, golf, beach volleyball.

While there will still be more issues to figure out, according to Pulley the NAIA cancelling the season is the best situation. 

“It’s a decision we support,” Pulley said. “We stand behind it. It’s the right one. We’ll do what we can to stay healthy.”

The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) decided Monday to cancel the spring 2020 sports season due to COVID-19, effective immediately.

“The Executive Committee voted unanimously to cancel the spring sport season,” William Carey Athletic Director DJ Pulley said. “We kind of expected it honestly and it’s the right thing to do. It’s a situation that is unprecedented for all of us as we go through this daily. It’s disappointing for the kids but the NAIA did take the right step and agreed immediately today to give the spring sports kids another year of eligibility.”

The NAIA also decided that no spring sport student-athlete will be charged a season of competition, and any spring sport student-athlete who was enrolled full-time in 2020 will be awarded two additional semester terms of attendance or the equivalent.

However, as of now, the NAIA has not put together a plan on how it will proceed with giving athletes the extra year of eligibility.

“When it came out that was one of the things that NAIA did not mention,” Pulley said. “For us it’s financial aid limit, NAIA is a little different than NCAA so I don’t know what NAIA is going to do. They asked us to send an email to the commissioner which we compile questions. We were in a conference call when we got the email. My first question was if they are going to give an exception to financial aid limit because there are situations where you are thinking they graduated and you have already found somebody in their spot and now you have them back. I don’t know what’s going to happen there.

“I’m sure the NAIA will pass something because everybody is in the same boat now. We basically have a whole senior class back and you have already recruited a lot of your freshmen class or transfers. I’m sure it’ll get all sorted out in the coming weeks.”

According to Pulley, the situation could still change as more information changes the situation with coronavirus, which was an issue the NAIA had dealt with earlier.

“It’s a tough situation,” Pulley said. “It’s still hard to grasp what’s going on because it changes every few minutes. Saturday it was gatherings of 250, and I think there was a time there we thought maybe we could continue. Obviously the NCAA has larger crowds but we were thinking to limit it to moms, dads and grandparents and get a small crowd and make that work. But then it dropped to 50 and now it’s down to 10. I had a staff meeting called for Monday that I had to cancel with my own coaching staff.”

Notably, the William Carey softball team held a 14-3 overall record while the baseball team held an 11-11 record. The outdoor track and field team entered its season with high expectation after winning the national championship in indoor track and coming off its runner-up performance a season ago. Other sports effected by the cancellation are tennis, golf, beach volleyball.

While there will still be more issues to figure out, according to Pulley the NAIA cancelling the season is the best situation.

“It’s a decision we support,” Pulley said. “We stand behind it. It’s the right one. We’ll do what we can to stay healthy.”