Liberty announced they will be supporting the NCAA ruling for an extra year of eligibility for spring sports participants, by welcoming back 19 spring sports athletes that are interested in returning.
Each university can determine whether those students return on the same level of scholarship or not on scholarship at all. Liberty’s added cost will approach 400 thousand dollars, but Athletic Director Ian McCaw says the Flames are dedicated to serving their student athletes.
."Everyone is looking at this through a different lens based on their circumstances, and we are in a fortunate position to be able to have this funding available. We are very much a student-athlete centric athletic program. We want to serve our students athletes well and we feel like this is the right thing to do,' McCaw said.
Meanwhile, Liberty’s coaches say the returning seniors value to their teams is priceless. On the diamonds, baseball returnees include Cam Locklear and Trey McDyre. Carly White for women’s lacrosse will also return, and for softball Amber Bishop and Kayla Harris will play another season for the Flames.
“To be cut short the way it was for most of them you know that’s just kind a leaves you a little bit empty. I think being able to put some closure to this and to have those kids back and liberty to say hey we’re gonna put our best foot forward here and make sure the experience that these kids got is what it should be,” Liberty baseball coach Scott Jackson said.
“It just stopped so suddenly. I’ve been playing this game for 20 years now or close to it, and for it to end like that it would’ve left a sour taste in my mouth so I am just being able to have that closure is just gonna be awesome,” Liberty shortstop Cam Locklear said.
Sports at Liberty affected by this situation include baseball, golf, men’s and women’s tennis, men’s and women’s outdoor track & field, women’s lacrosse, and softball. Liberty had 39 student-athletes on scholarship and 19 of them have expressed a desire to return – 8 men and 11 women.