As COVID-19 has effectively shut down all collegiate sports, coaches worry about their employment.
Banned activities include practice, provision of any workouts and training exercises for their players, and recruitment of new players. Recruitment is the most crucial aspect of coaches’ job. It is what ensures that they actually have and maintain their job.
Sebastian Ascensio, a transferring sophomore, was in the middle of the recruiting process when this pandemic struck and caused a nationwide stay at home order. Back in March, Ascensio was discussing possible scholarship money with coaches in order to support him and his family financially.
With the stay at home order, Ascensio has no chances of visiting these campuses or meeting with coaches to discuss his recruitment process.
Scared that this pandemic could possibly ruin his future he stated, “I had a few schools lined up for me to choose from with really good offers, and now I can’t even email the coaches because the NCAA does not allow for the recruitment process to continue.”
He is staying hopeful that this all blows over soon and he will get his chance at playing college ball.
Isaac Balderama, a sophomore player on CSUSB’s men’s soccer team, is certain this virus has really gone “too far.”
“I haven’t talked to my coach or my teammates recently and it isn’t comforting knowing that my coach’s job is at stake because he is the one who ultimately gave me my big break in playing college soccer,” said Balderama.
He is thankful to his coach, for he is the one that essentially gave him a chance at a higher education.
Enrique Cardenas, a coach for men’s soccer at College of the Desert, said his coaching salary is how he gets by, so having his pay reduced is concerning. Cardenas is one of the coaches facing difficulties after the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) announced a strict emergency dead period around the country. His salary was cut down by ten percent just one month after the shutdown. Soon the pay will decrease continuously if the pandemic continues.
“It is unfortunate for those that do because their pay is being cut down. Coaching has always been an outlet to be close to the game you love, but you can’t do that now,” mentioned Cardenas.
The plan for the NCAA is to have all of the fall sports back and running so that current coaches may return to their craft and continue to direct their sports programs, but until then the pay cuts will effectively continue until the ban is lifted.
Players have voiced their concerns for the coaches as well. Lucas Rosales, a sophomore player at College of the Desert, said that he fears that he may lose his coach.
“He’s the best coach I’ve ever had. I do not think there is anyone that could replace what he has done for me and this entire program at this school,” says Rosales. “He came into this program just a few years ago and turned everything around. He gave everyone a winning mentality.”
The NCAA has not announced any methods of support for the coaches. At the moment, no funds will be disbursed or set aside for those who are possibly facing financial issues and there have been no updates as to whether or not any of the objectives may be achieved online or through Zoom meetings.