By CBSNewYork Team

TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The NCAA has granted current college athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic, but this may have unintended consequences for high school athletes hoping to play at the next level.

As CBS2’s Meg Baker reports, Brandon Hendryx is a star basketball player and solid student at Trenton Catholic. He’s hoping play Division 1 but is concerned college coaches didn’t get to see him play enough due to cancelled seasons, and he questions if there will be room for him on the team if college players take a fifth year of eligibility.

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“Have you been in touch with schools? What are they saying?” Baker asked.

“It’s mainly just ‘We have students that may come back, we don’t know who’s coming in.’ So they just keep me posted,” Hendryx said.

“With the NCAA ruling, it causes a bottleneck effect with the high school students,” said his mother Dr. Tamika Covington.

College sports programs have been granted the option of offering an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic. While it’s the right thing for those athletes, it could have a trickle down effect for high school athletes.

Joanne Nora-Trattner, a college athlete recruitment advisor with Bergen County-based Clear Direction, says she hasn’t seen the effects of this yet.

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“Scholarships were not on the level that I had seen in the past because of budgets and coaches not sure what kind of money they had,” she said.

She says the repercussion may be a backlog of students on the roster.

“Tough times right now. You know, if the recruiters don’t know who you are, it’s kind of hard to be seen … Leaving the kids in a situation where they have little options,” said Kwaheem Smith, Hendryx’s AAU coach.

Some of the young athletes feel shortchanged. Covington is petitioning the state to allow parents to determine if their children should repeat a year. She says this would help make up the learning loss of virtual instruction and benefit the athletic recruitment process.

A bill passed in the Senate Education Committee that would allow parents to determine if a child stays back a year. Currently it is a joint decision with the school district.

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Meg Baker contributed to this report.

CBSNewYork Team