A dozen Missouri spring sport seniors plan to return to Columbia for 2021 with the extra year of eligibility granted to them by the NCAA in light of the coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA on March 30 gave all Division I spring sport athletes the opportunity for another year after 2020 seasons were canceled.

The 12 MU athletes choosing to come back include the baseball quartet of Art Joven, Spencer Juergens, Lukas Veinbergs and Peter Zimmermann. The Tigers’ other baseball senior, Austin James, is transferring to a Division II school in Florida.

Also coming back to campus are Rory Franssen in men’s golf; Jessica Yuen in women’s golf; Gabrielle Goldin and Serena Nash in women’s tennis; and four track and field athletes: Thomas George, Caulin Graves, Jordan McClendon and Karissa Roman.

Seven other Missouri seniors eligible for the extra year, including lone softball senior Eli Daniel, are electing to end their college careers to pursue other opportunities.

One more Tiger is still weighing his or her options, according to an announcement from the athletic department Wednesday.

“We look forward to watching these Mizzou student-athletes who had their 2020 spring seasons cut short by COVID-19 returning to finish out their collegiate careers the right way next spring,” athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement. “The NCAA made the right decision for these young men and women to receive their year back, and I’m grateful that several of them have elected to take advantage of this opportunity.

“We wish those moving on from Mizzou great success as they enter the next chapter of their lives.”

Mizzou football adds defensive back

Missouri football picked up its ninth commitment for the Class of 2021 on Wednesday morning in defensive back Davion Sistrunk.

Sistrunk, who stands 6-foot-2 and is from Melbourne, Florida, had offers from 26 FBS schools including Oklahoma, Nebraska and Mississippi State.

Sistrunk attends Eau Gallie High School, the same school professional baseball stars Tim Wakefield and Prince Fielder graduated from.

The Tigers’ 2021 class is now ranked No. 32 in the country by the 247Sports composite.

Mizzou WBB adds four-star commit

MU women’s basketball picked up a commitment this week from four-star guard Isabella Higginbottom of Batesville, Arkansas.

Higginbottom is rated as the No. 57 overall prospect in ESPN’s Class of 2021 rankings and the No. 13 point guard.

Higginbottom is the third commitment for the Tigers in the Class of 2021 following Kiya Dorroh and Jefferson City standout Sarah Linthacum.

Higginbottom was a 2019 and 2020 Class 4A all-state selection at Batesville High School.

Trio of MU teams recognized for academics

Missouri women’s basketball, women’s tennis and women’s cross country were honored this week by the NCAA with Public Recognition Awards for their Academic Progress Rates during the 2018-19 academic year.

All three programs scored perfect APR marks of 1,000.

The APR is an annual scorecard of academic achievement calculated for all Division I sports teams annually by the NCAA.

It measures eligibility, graduation and retention each semester while providing a score for the academic performance for each team in every sport.