Athletes adapt to NCAA

Transition excites Biola athletes, but also brings unfamiliar rules and regulations.

Dale Fredriks, Writer

In a time of transition, some elements require some adaptation and growth. Biola is experiencing one of these times as the Eagles gear up for their first season of membership in the NCAA Division II PacWest conference this fall.

A new level of play

Although the chance to compete in the NCAA certainly offers an exciting opportunity for Biola’s student athletes, they find themselves in a phase where they need to adapt quickly to prepare for a new level of play.

Relationships between the student athletes and the administration hold incredible value during this time, which is where the Student Athletic Advisory Committee comes into play. Junior women’s soccer player and president of the SAAC Janae Megorden fully understands the challenges athletes are facing.

“Change is difficult in and of itself,” Megorden said. “But I think that the NCAA, the rules they do have in play, are for the well-being of the student athlete and are intended for good and will be received as well, but it’s just difficult to transition into that.”

A tough transition

Megorden mentioned the transition not only makes it tough on the athletes, but their coaches as well. For example, new rules about practice length apply in different ways to different sports.

In the case of baseball, whose season just recently ended, they would usually practice for five hours at a time with the whole team on the field under the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics rules. In the NCAA, however, they can only practice for two hours.

Technically speaking, the majority of Biola sports are currently part of the NCAA with the exception of track and field, since as soon as the final event for the sport ends, the NCAA rules apply. This currently has particular effect on the fall sports, as they are in their offseason and thus have to comply with NCAA offseason rules for the first time.

“A lot of it has been getting pushed onto the athletes to work out on their own or have captain-led practices,” Megorden said. “And just a lot more responsibility on the athletes, because on your offseason the coach can’t be as involved.”

Although there may be growing pains now, Biola student athletes have the full capability to adapt and will return in full force during fall 2017 for hopefully the beginning of a long and successful era in the PacWest conference.

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