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College Roundtable
The Season-Ending Meeting Coaches Weren't Expecting
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One minute, they were training for upcoming matches. The next, they were absorbing the news their season was over.

College tennis players across the country won’t have the chance to compete for conference or NCAA titles this season. Due to the public health threat stemming from the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, the NCAA canceled all winter and spring sports championships.

Although some careers may have ended prematurely, players will have a chance to return. The NCAA is granting a waiver to spring sports athletes for an extra year of eligibility because their season was cut short.

There are still a lot of details to figure out regarding the waivers, like if scholarship and roster restrictions will be eased and how the extra scholarships will be funded.

But in the immediate aftermath of the season-halting announcement last week, the emotions were raw and real. Hear from some of the coaches themselves:

Brian Kalbas, UNC women

“We are currently on spring break in the Bahamas. We always let your seniors pick the spring break destination. We have three of the most talented seniors ever to play for the Tar Heels. As good as they are, they are even better people with tremendous families. When we heard of the news, we scheduled a team meeting. There was so much raw emotion of everyone crying and just wanting to play with and for each other again and again. I told them how proud I was and how sorry I was about their amazing season being cut short. I also told them that they won the only national championship conducted (ITA Indoors) and should feel so proud of what they accomplished. Finally, I told them that because of our tremendous supporters like Tom and Nancy Chewning and Geoff Scott they were able to have a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Bahamas. This week will be something they will always remember and cherish the time they spent together. I always try to find the positive in any situation and at least the players got to have one last amazing time together.”

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