Spring sports athletes to receive extra year of eligibility

Scott Shelton

Sports Editor

All Division I student-athletes competing in spring sports will be given an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 canceling 2020 seasons, according to a decision made by the NCAA on Monday evening.

The NCAA will allow Division I schools to determine for themselves how much scholarship money to give to seniors who saw their final season of eligibility end in March.

“The council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” said Council Chair M. Grace Calhoun, the athletics director at Penn State. “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.”

Financial aid rules will change because of the unprecedented circumstances.

“In a nod to the financial uncertainty faced by higher education, the council vote also provided schools with the flexibility to give students the opportunity to return for 2020-21 without requiring athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20,” according to the NCAA’s statement.

The NCAA will not allow the same waiver for athletes who competed in winter sports, such as basketball, since most of those seasons had concluded.

Division I baseball teams will see an increase in the roster limit and will be the only sport where an increase will occur.

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