NCAA Division I Council Approves Blanket Year of Eligibility to Spring Sport Athletes

Robert Allen

STILLWATER -- The reports all day was the meeting with the NCAA Division I Council was moving slowly, but apparently around 6:30 EDT there was a vote taken and the report is that the 40-member Council made up of administrators from FBS, FCS, and other non football playing Division I schools approved a blanket year of eligibility for all spring sport athletes that missed their season due to the suspension of all sports because of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The important catch here that leaves the financial cost of the extra year of eligibility up to each school is a huge key and more than likely what got the entire Division I Council to see eye-to-eye on the issue. 

Schools will be able to offer less (or zero) aid or match what they provided this year to the athletes in their extra awarded year of eligibility. It is up to each school for each athlete how they go about the cost of that extra year or semester.

That is smart in that the cost for lower Division I schools is not as great, but for the FBS schools with that cost of attendance stipend, based on on cost of living in the college market and what the school is willing to pay and the NCAA approves, can really ramp up the cost of a scholarship.

There is no mention of the winter sports athletes that lost their postseason. Reports were that the sentiment of restoring another year of eligibility was not as great for those athletes. 

Either way, Oklahoma State University Vice-President for athletics and athletics director Mike Holder text Pokes Report that he is really happy for the athletes and feels the NCAA Division I Council did the right thing.

Mike Holder
Mike Holder was supportive of this initiative from the beginning.Oklahoma State University Athletics

“I’m excited for all of the athletes," Holder started in his text. "They only get four years to pursue their collegiate athletic dreams and each one is precious. The Division I Council restored what was taken away by coronavirus. Thank you."

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Josh Holliday was extremely happy to get the new of the Division I Council vote.Pat Kinnison - Pokes Report chief photographer

"Yeah, I saw that and I am thrilled for our players," Baseball head coach Josh Holliday said with joy in his voice. "I know our senior are the most emotionally wrapped up on this, I know they have the eye on the future and this was going to be the end for them. I know my senior year was so special. I met my wife and I we made the College World Series. There was a lot of great relationships with my teammates and my friends for life. There was a lot of maturing that year. I'm happy for all of our athletes in all the spring sports." 

We tried to reach softball head coach Kenny Gajewski, who had told us that his seniors wanted to come back. The Cowgirls were loaded and had a team that appeared to be ready to compete for it all. This has to be great news for them.  

Now all spring sport athletes know they have the extra year if they choose to use it. The only variable is how much of the cost will be taken by the school and how much will it cost the athlete. There is lots of time for that to be decided. Remember, many of the spring sports are partial scholarship sports, such as baseball which has 11.7 total scholarships. 

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