How the Extra Year of Eligibility is a Win for Student-Athletes

EvCC student-athletes share how a setback became an opportunity.


Photo from EvCC.

Empty EvCC gym after it was remodeled.

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to close down in late March of 2020, many student-athletes at EvCC wondered if they had played their final game for the school. Fortunately for them, this past November, the NWAC announced that student-athletes would be granted an extra year of eligibility for the 2020-2021 seasons. 


Stevy Kama, a former forward for EvCC’s soccer team, said many of his prior teammates were choosing to come back for another year. Kama said, “My friend Manny Segura is taking full advantage of it. He says, ‘it’s great having another year to compete and grow as a player.’ Also, on the academic side

, it allows for him to take extra classes for his intended major that he didn’t initially plan for.” 

Mike Trautman, EvCC’s head basketball coach, also coincided with the players’ desire to return. Trautman said, ”We currently have 16 students on the roster and only three will choose to move on to the next level. Everyone else chose to take the extra year.”

It seems that players are relishing a chance to come back to EvCC and take advantage of the opportunity. Trautman also mentioned, “The extra year allows the athletes to take a few less credits per quarter, which will improve the quality of their school work.”

How does the extra year of eligibility affect the incoming class?

“The high school seniors of 2020 are the ones who are most affected by the extra year of eligibility,” said the school’s Athletic Director, Garet Studer. “Every year, a certain amount of scholarships are given to each of the school’s athletic programs, and with the majority of the athletes choosing to come back the extra year, there just isn’t the normal amount of scholarships left to offer incoming students.“ 

According to Trautman, the school’s basketball program brings in an average of 8-10 new student-athletes per year; next year’s team is only looking to add 3-5 new players. 

Looking forward to Fall 2021

With the Spring quarter already announced it would remain online, Studer is optimistic that fall of 2021 should see the school reopening. He is hopeful that fans will be allowed at games and the NWAC championships will be back in play. Trautman also said, “Schools that typically don’t receive a lot of high-level players will have an opportunity to land those players for the upcoming year. It will elevate the overall brand of basketball for our conference for this year and the years to come.”

The majority of students are returning to the school except those who will earn their A.A. before the fall. With all the challenges from last season, the extra year of eligibility has been very beneficial for student-athletes and they are taking full advantage of it.