OHIO, USA — Urbana University is located just northeast of Dayton and has been open since 1850. Yesterday, they announced that they would be closing their doors after the spring semester. That left a lot of local athletes to scramble.
The coronavirus has brought on many challenges for college athletics. Schools across the country are trying to figure out what the future looks like. For now, the closing of Urbana University has hit a few kids from Northwest Ohio particularly hard.
Mason Loeffler is a senior right now at Evergreen. He was part of that Vikings team who was scheduled to play in the Regional Final and had their season cut short. He was also committed to Urbana for months and had to wake up to the news that he had to find a new home immediately.
"It's been pretty difficult," said Loeffler. "It's been one of the toughest times of my life. It was supposed to be the best year of my life athletic-wise and school-wise. It's been cut short and I'm definitely gonna miss the time. I can't get the time back. It's tough. I woke up, I was definitely in shock. I thought it was set in stone that I was going to Urbana. In my mind, I had no doubt or (thought) I was going anywhere else or something like this was going to happen. When I heard the news I was pretty upset. There's nothing I can really do about it, from my position, just gotta keep moving forward."
Tanner Rickle is a Findlay High School grad who was playing quarterback on the Urbana football team. He's now hoping to find another opportunity and has to go through the recruiting process for a second time.
"It's definitely a strain," said Rickle. "I kinda learned some things the first time, but also it's a totally different game now coming from high school to being a transfer. Just the way recruiting is, it's a lot different. I'm not sure what to expect. I'm ready. I'm still here. I'm still looking for a place to play."
There are plenty of others who are all left looking for a new chance in their college careers and the major changes to college athletics are far from over.