After meeting to discuss the eligibility for the student-athletes whose seasons ended unprecedentedly, the NCAA Division I Council agreed to grant spring sport athletes an extra year of eligibility.
“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” NCAA DI Council Athletics Director and Chair Grace Calhoun said, according to an NCAA news release. “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.”
While Division I rules grant student-athletes four seasons of play in five years, the Council’s decision will allow schools to self-apply waivers to restore the season that was missed due to the 2020 spring season, according to the release. Each student-athlete affected will have their five-year time period extended by one year as well.
The scholarships for those who will capitalize on the additional year of eligibility can be paid for by the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund if the schools choose to take that route, according to the release. The council also made adjustments to toe financial aid rules, allowing more scholarships to teams as new faces will be added on the rosters. Also, the council voted to allow schools to let student-athletes return for the 2020-21 season without requiring the same amount of athletics aid provided in the 2019-20 season. The rules only apply to student-athletes who would have been eligible in 2019-20.
The only sport that’s roster size was increased was baseball, according to the release.
As the spring sport athletes were granted the year of eligibility they were hoping for, the winter sport athletes did not. The members of the council did not extend the winter sport athletes eligibility as they already completed their regular seasons.