NCAA to Grant Spring Athletes Relief for a Season of Eligibility

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The NCAA will grant spring student athletes relief for a season of eligibility after canceling winter and spring championships due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials announced Friday.

"Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports," the NCAA said in a statement. "Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. Additional issues with the NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and weeks."

Stadium's Jeff Goodman was first to report the decision.

The committee's decision comes one day after the NCAA canceled March Madness and all winter and spring championships. The decision sparked an outcry from players, coaches and athletic directors, particularly seniors who had their final season come to a sudden halt. The move even prompted Iowa track and field senior Allison Wahrman to create a petition on Change.org asking the NCAA to grant seniors another year of eligibility.

The NCAA also placed an "immediate ban" on in-person recruiting for coaches, and the recruiting dead period will be in place until at least April 15. Schools have also been advised to suspend any official or unofficial campus visits with recruits.

College athletics are among the many sports affected around the globe by the coronavirus. In the U.S., the NBA, NHL and MLS have suspended their seasons until further notice. MLB delayed the start of its season by two weeks, which was set to begin March 26.

The World Health Organization declared a pandemic Wednesday, with more than 135,400 confirmed cases of the virus globally across at least 111 countries.