NCAA Division I Council Extends Eligibility for Spring Sport Athletes, Winter Sport Athletes Excluded

Matthew McGavic

The NCAA Division I Council has voted to allow schools to provide spring sport student-athletes an extra year of eligibility, the NCAA announced on Monday. 

"The Division I Council on Monday voted to allow schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.

Division I rules limit student-athletes to four seasons of competition in a five-year period. The Council’s decision allows schools to self-apply waivers to restore one of those seasons of competition for student-athletes who had competed while eligible in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 spring season.

The Council also will allow schools to self-apply a one-year extension of eligibility for spring-sport student-athletes, effectively extending each student’s five-year “clock” by a year. This decision was especially important for student-athletes who had reached the end of their five-year clock in 2020 and saw their seasons end abruptly."

- NCAA Division I Council

Essentially, the NCAA has now handed over the decision on if they want to give spring sport student-athletes an additional year to the University of Louisville. The NCAA Division I Council also made adjustments to financial aid rules so that the potential added influx of scholarships can be taken care of.

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

Unfortunately, winter sport student-athletes were not included in the decision. The Council "declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where all or much of their regular seasons were completed."

For UofL specifically: baseball, men's & women's golf, lacrosse, rowing, softball, men's & women's tennis and track & field student-athletes have the potential to have an additional year of eligibility granted, if the University of Louisville permits it. Men's & women's basketball and swimming & diving athletes will not have the opportunity to have an additional year granted.

For baseball, the roster limit has been increased and returning seniors will not count against roster limits.

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