NCAA votes to allow spring-sports athletes extra year of eligibility
College athletes who participated in a spring sport this season will get another year of eligibility.
The NCAA Division I Council has approved a blanket waiver for all spring-sport athletes to gain an extra year of eligibility after their seasons were cut short more than two weeks ago by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” council chair and Pennsylvania athletic director M. Grace Calhoun said in a release.
“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.”
However, the NCAA Division I Council did vote to deny an extra year for winter-sports athletes due to their regular seasons being complete or near completion.
For spring sports, financial aid rules were adjusted to allow teams to carry more athletes on scholarships, accounting for new freshmen and this spring’s seniors. And the five-year clock for each athlete was extended a year.
But that could come at a cost for current seniors in their final year of eligibility.
The council did not require each program to match the scholarship provided this season to an athlete in his or her final year of eligibility should they return. A school can match, but it can also offer less or nothing at all.
Schools will also be able to use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay for scholarships for returning athletes using the extra year next spring.
Also, baseball’s roster limit was increased, but the release did not specify a new limit. According to D1Baseball.com, returning seniors will not count toward the roster limit.