As COVID-19 upends fall sports, student-athletes face uncertain futures


Amanda Kelley, Photographer

Since March, student athletes have experienced a struggle unlike one they have ever faced. Without their sport seasons, many athletes are not sure what to do with themselves, especially juniors because they rely on these sport seasons to make highlight videos to submit to colleges for scholarships. 

At the University of North Texas, Trent Petrie, PhD, conducted a survey of almost 6,000 student athletes from all three collegiate sport levels. About 22% of respondents in the study expressed a clinical level of depression and 26% reported sub-clinical levels.  Nearly 15% reported clinical levels of psychological distress and almost everyone reported some amount of distress. Also, 30% reported clinical levels of eating disorder behaviors (Petrie 2020). 

It is clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on student athletes’ mental health. For many athletes, sports are part of their identity and without that, it is very possible that many athletes could be having an identity crisis. The sooner athletes can return to the fields and courts, the sooner their mental health rates can improve, and they can go back to their normal lives.