Why Most Seniors Are Leaving
It’s fair to say the 2020 lacrosse season is a bust. A potentially historic season has disappeared. No national champ will be crowned. Virginia proudly defended their title. It’s a season of what ifs. Who would have won it all? Yale? Syracuse? Princeton? Penn State? Someone else? The cancellation of the 2020 season impacts everyone. All my plans for covering the season are void.
The worst casualty? Seniors. Their lacrosse careers are over. Yes, we’ll see the stars play professionally. For most, it’s over. Beer league is what remains. Guys will move on. The NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility for spring sport athletes. I’ve seen fans clamor for the return of Jeff Teat, Grant Ament, and TD Ierlan. I hate to be a buzzkill. Those guys aren’t returning. Most players won’t. It’s an unceremonious end to their careers.
As someone currently playing, I can explain. Playing college lacrosse is one of the most fun things you’ll do. The act of balancing lacrosse and school isn’t. Seniors are sick of college. They’re ready to move on in life.
The ultimate goal of college is earning your degree. It’s not playing collegiate athletics forever. Most seniors have careers lined up. Why would you reject working to play another year? You’d knowingly turn down a salary to make nothing. Economically, it doesn’t make sense.
It’s relatively unknown, but full-ride athletes are myths. Can you be one? Yes. But most athletes aren’t. Players generally receive scholarships covering half the cost (at most). I’ve yet to meet someone with a full ride. College is expensive. Universities can cost $50K per year. Knowing this, would you pay $25K to play lacrosse? Probably not. Don’t forget, you have your degree. You’d be paying for classes unrelated to your major.
Okay, I’ve mentioned money. Say you’re a star and love lacrosse. You want to continue playing. If I’m TD Ierlan or Grant Ament, I’m going pro. I can play professionally, get paid, and not worry about academics. I can focus solely on lacrosse. Get some sponsorships, work camps, and play multiple leagues (NLL and PLL). Add that with another job. Solid income.
I’d only return to improve my draft stock. If your ultimate dream is playing professionally, and you won’t be drafted in 2020, stay another year. You’ll probably see this in larger spring sports (baseball). If you do stay for said reason, you better be damn sure you have a breakout season. Even then, is it really worth staying to improve draft stock? You’d be paying an extra $50K to make $20K in 2021 (this doesn’t include the other four years).
It’s unfair, but that’s life. The seniors aren’t returning. A select few will. It’ll be rare. The Ivy League doesn’t even allow graduates to play varsity athletics. Unless Ivy seniors transfer, their careers are done. Regardless of their decision, let’s support these young men. They’re in a tough spot. 2020 is the lost season. Let’s always remember what 2020’s seniors brought to the creator’s game.
Do you think everyone should return? Would you stay or go? What are your thoughts on the matter? Whatever your thoughts, air them by connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram. You can comment directly onto this article by subscribing. By subscribing, you’ll be notified whenever I publish a new article. Any and all support is appreciated. Regardless, thank you for reading.
I’m currently flying, as I type this, and will be traveling back to Colorado the next couple of days. Coronavirus cancelled our season. I’m flying back to New Jersey to bring my belongings home. There’s been a change in content plans with the season’s cancellation. I have new articles scheduled for release when I return. I have a 27-hour car ride ahead of me. Lot’s of time to brainstorm. Thanks for reading my life update and stay safe with all the craziness! Praying NLL season returns soon.