Coronavirus, student athletes, and recruiting

U.S. & World

(NBC) – Like thousands of others across the country, high school athletes Aaron and Blake Smith are in limbo because of the coronavirus crisis.

“It’s rough on all of us. It’s really tough not being able to visit my top two schools,” says Aaron.

The twin brothers from California hope to land Division I sports college scholarships. Now, their seasons are shut down.

For a swimmer like Blake, there’s no chance to reach competition goals which would bring college coaches calling.

“I was planning to go 56 second breast; it’s a college time but – I was only able to go a 1:02 before the season got canceled,” Blake said.

The NCAA has banned face-to-face meetings between college coaches and students for the time being. But the NCAA says it’s forcing coaches and their universities to get creative in recruiting.

“They can show facilities, they can walk around campus with a video camera – they can do some interesting things -we hope that works until we can get back to a new normal,” said NCAA Vice President of Academic and Membership Affairs Dave Schnase.

Their advice? Be ready.

“We are telling them to keep on, keeping on; continue to keep your academics up, continue to work on your athletic abilities,” said Felicia Martin, Vice President of the NCAA Eligibility Center.

North Carolina high school swimmer Grace Hansen is doing as much as she can outside the pool.

“It’s important to keep hope and keep faith and just do the best we can,” she said.

Keeping her mind and body sharp, so she’s ready to impress college recruiters as soon as it’s safe to jump back in.

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