West Virginia senior golfer Etienne Papineau announced Thursday that he would be returning to the University for his fifth year of competition.
I have decided to go back to WVU for a fifth year and complete my MBA while competing with the team. I took a reasoned decision and thank you to my family, girlfriend, friends, and coaches for understanding the situation and guiding me through the decision! Thanks @SeanCovich& CB pic.twitter.com/2PyHmqdws5— Etienne Papineau (@EtiennePapineau) April 30, 2020
The decision comes after the NCAA awarded an additional year of eligibility to student-athletes in spring sports following cancellations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Papineau, who is a native of St-Jean-Sur-Richlieu, Quebec, Canada, said in a later statement that he believed it to be a "great opportunity" to continue his academic and athletic careers.
“I have thought about it a lot, and I wanted to make a reasoned decision,” Papineau said in a press release. “I think it is a great opportunity for me to come back and complete my MBA while playing one of the best schedules in the NCAA.
"I am extremely grateful that Coach (Sean) Covich, Coach (Clay) Bounds and WVU gave me the opportunity to come back. After long and deep discussions with my family, girlfriend, friends and coaches, we agree that it is the best thing for me to do."
Papineau also referenced the team's success this past season as a big factor.
“The most important thing is after seeing how our great season ended in March," Papineau said, "I wanted to come back and prove that we can do something special as a team.”
Papineau earned team Most Improved honors for his efforts during the 2018-19 season. He finished that year with an average score of 72.09, which was a personal best over his collegiate career to that point.
“I am thrilled that Etienne has decided to return for another season,” WVU head coach Sean Covich said in a press release. “He is one of the best players in our program’s history, an honor roll student and a great teammate. Our guys love to be around him and compete with him. I am very grateful for the chance to be his coach for another year.”