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OU's Joe Castiglione: Issue of waivers for spring athletes complex, but Sooners supportive of returnees

NORMAN — OU athletic director Joe Castiglione said Thursday the program was "supportive" of providing the funding necessary to extend scholarships for spring sports athletes whose seasons were cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We've made a plan for that," Castiglione said in a teleconference Thursday. "I can't tell you exactly how much that will cost us yet because we're not 100 percent sure how many student-athletes will take advantage of that opportunity. But when we do, we'll have a calculation."

The NCAA recently ruled that it would grant waivers for those athletes, though there was no requirement that the scholarships be funded at the same level they were for the most recent season, if at all.

Some schools have already announced they wouldn't seek blanket waivers for such athletes.

Not long after Castiglione's teleconference, Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said the Badgers would not be pursuing waivers for its athletes who were seniors.

Louisiana Tech recently announced that they would seek the waivers for its baseball and softball players, raising scholarship money through donations, but wouldn't do it for athletes in other spring sports.

"It wasn't without complexity and it wasn't without an opportunity for coaches to face some challenges as they try to make it work in subsequent years," Castiglione said of the NCAA's ruling. "Any further interpretation for how that might work remains to be seen. But for the coming year, we plan to support whatever our coaches bring forward in terms of student-athletes making a determination  to stay for another year or funding their scholarship up to the same amount they had during the '19-'20 academic year."

OU’s seven baseball and three softball seniors, along with its lone women’s golf senior, Ellen Secor, have already announced their intentions to return. The Sooners had 27 other senior athletes in track and field, tennis, men’s golf and women’s rowing who would be eligible to return.


Related Photos
Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione watches pregame activities before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas Jayhawks (KU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione watches pregame activities before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas Jayhawks (KU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9ba61e45b72fb771e48271bf3d2fb56a.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione watches pregame activities before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas Jayhawks (KU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman" title="Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione watches pregame activities before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas Jayhawks (KU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman"><figcaption>Oklahoma Athletic Director Joe Castiglione watches pregame activities before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas Jayhawks (KU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Nov. 17, 2018. Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman</figcaption></figure>
Ryan Aber

Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The... Read more ›

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