The NCAA Division I Council has voted to provide athletes playing spring sports an extra year of eligibility after the coronavirus has had lasting impacts on their respective 2020 spring seasons.
The NCAA’s decision Monday will extend the eligibility of all student-athletes, not just seniors. Schools will be allowed to expand rosters to account for both incoming freshmen and seniors who were expected to leave this spring, forgoing current scholarship limits.
The waivers will be applied for student-athletes competing in spring sports like baseball, softball, tennis, golf, and track and field. The decision does not include winter sports like basketball, hockey, swimming and diving and gymnastics. Ultimately, it means basketball, hockey and other winter athletes who had their postseasons or NCAA Tournament appearances cancelled, unfortunately, will not have another chance.
“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at the University of Pennsylvania, said in a statement provided by the NCAA. “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.”
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 30, 2020
In terms of spring athletes electing to return, the NCAA will leave it up to each individual university to decide whether to grant seniors playing spring sports less or equal financial aid in the coming year.