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University of Wisconsin not applying for waivers for another season for senior spring sports athletes

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Badgers senior golfer Tess Hackworthy helped lead the push for the NCAA to allow a special waiver for spring sports seniors to return for one more season of eligibility as the school's president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

"We were super excited about all the hard work we put in to trying to persuade the D1 council to make that decision," says Hackworthy.

However, Hackworthy did not have long to enjoy that victory. Her coach called her last week to inform her Wisconsin would not be asking the NCAA for a waiver to extend the eligibility of it's seniors.

"I was obviously very disappointed and upset at first, but it makes a lot of sense knowing some of the reasoning."

University of Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez explained some of the complications on his radio show on 1310 WIBA Madison. He mentioned the added financial commitment to adding scholarships as well as the logistical problems of increasing roster sizes. He also said the faculty committee did not feel it was fair to allow athletes a second chance at missed opportunities from this spring when other students may not get those same opportunities.

"I think there was an overreaction by the NCAA when they cancelled spring sports, giving everybody that year of eligibility. Well, that creates a lot of problems. It's more complicated than that," Alvarez explained in his appearance.

Hackworthy says she is one of 34 spring sports seniors affected by this decision. Alvarez mentioned most of the seniors were set to graduate soon and already had postgraduate plans.

"If you're going to graduate, graduate and move on with your life," Alvarez said of his advice to the seniors. "We appreciate everything that you've done but move forward."

Hackworthy understands the school's decision. Still, it was not the ending she would have written for her college career.

"It was a bummer to see that come to an end abruptly. Quite honestly, in the grand scheme of things, having a golf season come to an end is real small compared to a lot of other people in this world and what they're going through."

Some of the athletes at Wisconsin may potentially attempt to transfer for a final season of collegiate competition. As for Hackworthy, she plans to move on and pursue a professional golf career.

Lance Veeser

Sports Director, 27 News

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