I’m sure many of you have heard me say it before: “If I have to come back for a fifth year, I just want to try out for the JV soccer team and play goalie. That would be a blast.”
But what would be the consequences of upperclassmen trying to play a JV sport just to say they did it? Technically, it’s allowed. NCAA Division 3 has a ten-semester rule, meaning that you have ten semesters of eligibility, so you could switch sports as a super senior and have a year on the JV (or maybe even varsity) team. But I think it’s important to look at exactly what this sort of action would do not only to an individual team but to the whole Covenant athletic program.
First, JV teams are developmental for many players who wish to play varsity. Many players in Covenant’s athletic programs have made the varsity team in the past but opted to play JV so they could develop themselves for future years, or who played a year on JV but made the move up the following year. Some that immediately come to mind are Luke Gleason, for men’s basketball, Joseph Franks and Bryce Bartelt for men’s soccer. An upperclassmen playing a JV sport just to say they did it dulls the competitive edge, and undermines the athletic maturation that can be accomplished in the JV programs.
Secondly, this affects the athletic budget. We all know that Covenant is unable to shell out the gear and clothing that larger schools have available for their athletes. This isn’t a priority, but to leech money from a competitive varsity program so that you can show your friends a shirt from that time you played a college sport you never played in high school maybe isn’t the best call.
To everyone else playing JV, play on! This is simply a “stop-and-think” to those upperclassmen (such as myself) who have just wanted to see “if they could do it.”