COVID-19 affecting recruitment for Texoma athletes

COVID-19 affecting recruitment for Texoma athletes

WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - Less than a week ago, the NCAA changed its recruiting guidelines in response to COVID-19 concerns.

Instead of face to face visits, all recruitment moves to the phone or email until at least April 15th.

It’s called a recruitment dead period and it’s causing problems for Texoma athletes who are trying to get recruited.

“I was supposed to have two visits with coaches at universities," Wichita Christian junior volleyball player Maddison Harris said. "But they called me last week saying that we had to cancel and postpone for a later time.”

And it’s not what athletes want to be hearing, whether it is tournament ball in volleyball or in-season sports like softball, baseball or even track, they are losing valuable playing time to show off their skills.

“Oh man, for guys that haven’t committed yet, I’m very lucky to be committed and have that done now," Iowa Park baseball player Kaleb Gafford said. "Just maybe not getting to play again, that would be tough.”

For colleges, this isn’t ideal either but Midwestern State athletic director Kyle Williams says it’s what needs to be done to help prevent a spread into college athletics.

“Going to see a kid, that’s just what you do in recruiting obviously," Williams said. "So I think it’s a good rule honestly, we’re all in this together.”

Harris says this time would have been spent locking down which school was right for her, but without tournament ball, she could be in a bind come senior year.

“Hopefully I will have somewhere that I know I want to go by the end of summer really," Harris said. "So it will be a slower pace next year. "If that doesn’t happen then definitely it will be a rush, but hopefully it doesn’t come to that.”

Today, the UIL extended their suspension of games and contests until May 4th meaning Harris and all other Texoma athletes will have to wait even longer for their shot at grabbing a college’s attention.

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