NCAA Votes for Eligibility for Fall Athletes
Are you a collegiate athlete competing in a sport designated by the NCAA to take place in the "fall" in the 2020 season? If so, I have good news for you: this season is effectively null and void, at least in terms of eligibility. The NCAA had previously voted to cancel fall championships across the country, putting Olympic sports in the conferences that were still planning on playing in a very awkward spot. While they're still in an awkward spot, athletes at these conferences and across the country received positive news yesterday. The NCAA has declared a blanket waiver of eligibility for all fall athletes, similar to what they did for the spring season. However, this one comes with a situation that is a bit more interesting. The waiver is good regardless of how many competitions you participate in over the 2020-21 athletic calendar. Therefore, anyone that plays in games this fall (or spring if their fall season is moved to the spring) will not impact their free year of eligibility.
This is, of course, wonderful for the athletes. The unfairness we talked about with shortened seasons for smaller sports is negated, and players are not punished for opting out. My concern is that the NCAA is not necessarily looking out for athlete health with this move, as I feel they should have been more of a national leader on safety decisions for the fall. However, this does give teams that truly feel they have a handle on the COVID-19 situation in their area the freedom to continue practice and competitions with other teams that feel the same. On the flip side, it gives schools that do not have a handle on their situation but are pretending to that freedom as well. That said, any athletes that feel like they are in that situation are protected by opting out and maintaining that eligibility.
For once, and this feels strange to say, it seems like the NCAA has made a move that has a lot of flexibility but is mostly positive. When they made the decision about the spring sport eligibility, it was because they didn't really have a choice. The pressure was on for them to do it and it was a knee-jerk reaction to the sudden cancellation of all of the sports. Unlike the spring decision, the NCAA didn't actually have to make this one. Would it have been dumb if they didn't? Sure, but that hasn't ever stopped them before. Given the scattershot approach by conferences to the fall, the NCAA could have easily just said everyone that was playing should take it up with their conferences for putting them in that situation, but they didn't. They actually made a reasonable decision for the student-athletes.
MHA's Big Night Can't Get Washington Back on Track
After beating the Dream on Wednesday, the Mystics needed to roll off a few more wins to get back on track to prevent the season from getting out of hand. With a game against the Dallas Wings on the line, it seemed like such an opportunity was there for the taking. Myisha Hines-Allen saw the opportunity and went for it. Unfortunately, much of the rest of her team didn't get the memo. The Wings took a 20 point lead into half time and it looked like the Mystics would be right back to getting thumped by teams that had no business thumping them. Instead, Washington came out of the break and rattled off a 29 point quarter. Scoring 29 didn't help too much, though, as they still trailed by 11. However, they managed to hold on to that momentum to close the gap in the fourth, tying the game to get to overtime. They only scored four in the final period. Dallas scored more than that.
Despite the loss, Hines-Allen had a career night. She played more than 42 minutes, the most of anyone, and picked up 35 points, 12 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and a block. She was perfect from the free throw line and 3-4 from beyond the arc. The double-double was her fourth of the season, as she seeks to make the most of her expanded role. We've discussed it at length, but I think it's worth saying again: Myisha Hines-Allen has the talent and the determination to be a star in the WNBA. I'm glad she's getting the opportunity to show it.
Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast
Another week has come and gone, so it's time for another episode of the Cardinal Couple Radio Hour Podcast. We should have a full house this week, if memory serves, but you all know I've been wrong before. We actually have some positive news to talk about this week, so perhaps we won't rant for the entire hour. We'd love to have actual competition to discuss, but maybe we'll get back to that eventually. Tune in at 11AM for the live stream over at the Cardinal Couple YouTube channel or check out the show any time after recording. Be sure to subscribe and share with anyone else you think might be interested as well!
Until next time, Go Cards!