NCAA restores year of eligibility for spring sports

Elijah Jackson

The NCAA Division I Council voted Monday to grant an extra year of eligibility to all student-athletes in spring sports whose seasons were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The decision will also extend the eligibility of all spring-sport student-athletes, not just seniors whose careers would have ended after the season. It will allow schools to expand their rosters beyond current scholarship limits to account for incoming recruits and seniors who were expected to leave.

The NCAA will leave it up to each individual school to decide whether or not to grant seniors in spring sports less or equal financial aid this upcoming year than what they received this year.The NCAA said in a statement that the financial aid flexibility only applies to student-athletes who would have exhausted their eligibility after the 2019-20 season.

“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” said Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at the University of Pennsylvania. “The Board of Governors encouraged conferences and schools to take action in the best interest of student-athletes and their communities, and now schools have the opportunity to do that.”

The waivers will be applied for student-athletes competing in spring sports: baseball, softball, tennis, golf, outdoor track and field, lacrosse, rowing, men’s volleyball, beach volleyball and women’s water polo. 

The decision was also made to not grant extra eligibility for winter sports such as basketball. 

“Council members declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where all or much of their regular seasons were completed,” the NCAA said in a press release.

Elijah Jackson, The George-Anne Sports Editor, [email protected]