NCAA Grants Spring Student-Athletes Additional  Year of Eligibility

Hondo S. Carpenter

East Lansing, MI— The NCAA has ruled that student-athletes who participate in spring sports have been granted another year of eligibility. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, spring sports saw their seasons brought to an immediate halt. 

While many noticed the loss of the basketball tournaments, spring sports fell victim as well.

This ruling, while expected since the moment those sports saw the brakes applied to their season, many wondered if the verdict would be expanded to include the winter sports such as basketball where teams saw conference tournaments and the NCAA Tournament shut down.

Specifically, the ruling only applies to spring sports. While maybe not popular, it was the right decision. Because spring sports are Olympic, and most are non-revenue generating, a massive amount of logistic concerns arise.

According to the NCAA, “Members also adjusted financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more members on scholarship to account for incoming recruits and student-athletes who had been in their last year of eligibility who decide to stay. In a nod to the financial uncertainty faced by higher education, the Council vote also provided schools with the flexibility to allow students to return for 2020-21 without requiring that athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20. This flexibility applies only to student-athletes who would have exhausted eligibility in 2019-20.”

The NCAA added, about winter sports such as hockey and basketball not getting extensions, “Winter sports were not included in the decision. Council members declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where all or much of their regular seasons were completed.”

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