COLUMBIA — The Missouri athletic department announced Wednesday 12 of the 21 spring sport athletes eligible for another year of eligibility under NCAA waiver because of the coronavirus would return to their respective teams next year.
The NCAA's Division I council voted to approve the measure March 30, but denied an added year of eligibility to winter sports, including men's and women's basketball, gymnastics and wrestling, shortly after.
Andy Humes, Missouri's AD for compliance, said in early April the athletic department estimated if every eligible spring sport athlete returned at their previous scholarship aid level, it would cost $463,000.
On the baseball team, pitchers Art Joven, Spencer Juergens and Lukas Veinbergs, as well as 1B/DH Peter Zimmermann, will return. Graduate student Rory Franssen will return to the men's golf team and Jessica Yuen will return for women's golf. Gabrielle Goldin and Serena Nash will take advantage of the extra year for women's tennis, and the track and field team will return distance runner Thomas George, sprinter Caulin Graves, throws specialist Jordan McClendon and jumper Karissa Roman.
"We look forward to watching these Mizzou student-athletes who had their 2020 spring seasons cut short by COVID-19 returning to finish out their collegiate careers the right way next spring," athletic director Jim Sterk said in a release. "The NCAA made the right decision for these young men and women to receive their year back, and I'm grateful that several of them have elected to take advantage of this opportunity. We wish those moving on from Mizzou great success as they enter the next chapter of their lives."
The softball team's closer and lone senior, Eli Daniel, previously announced she would not return to the team and instead pursue softball coaching opportunities. Austin James, who played third base and shortstop for the baseball team, will not return, and both track and golf teams have at least one senior who elected not to return.