UW won't seek eligibility for seniors whose seasons were lost to coronavirus

Wisconsin acting head coach Barry Alvarez looks on during the second quarter of the Outback...
Wisconsin acting head coach Barry Alvarez looks on during the second quarter of the Outback Bowl NCAA college football game against Auburn, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)(NBC15)
Published: Apr. 9, 2020 at 4:22 PM CDT
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The University of Wisconsin athletes whose final year of eligibility was wiped way when the coronavirus pandemic shut down spring sports will not get to make up that lost season – despite NCAA guidance that would have let them return.

On Thursday, UW Athletics declared it would not pursue the eligibility waivers needed that would have let its senior student athletes come back for full, final season.

“Student-athletes in their fourth year of eligibility have concluded their careers with us,” Senior Associate Athletic Director Justin Doherty said.

UW explained the call came following guidance from medical professionals and that the health and safety of the athletes as well as staff and fans was one of the most important factors in its decision.

The Athletics Dept. pointed out that most of the student-athletes who lost that final year are expected to earn their degree before next spring and that UW would continue to support them as they worked to complete the degree.

“This group of student-athletes has our full support up to, including and beyond graduation. They are Badgers for life and we are greatly appreciative of the way they have represented our department and the university,” Doherty said.