The NCAA voted on Monday voted to allow an additional year of eligibility for spring athletes. The Division I Council, however, did not approve an extra year of eligibility for winter sports athletes. As college athletics work to adjust to seasons that were interrupted by COVID-19, this was the anticipated result.
In a statement, the NCAA also made note that there will be adjustments to financial aid rules that will allow teams to carry more members on scholarship — which will account for incoming recruits and athletes with one year of remaining eligibility who elect to stay, too.
DI Council grants waiver to allow additional eligibility for spring sport athletes whose seasons were impacted by COVID-19: https://t.co/v1zriEBDvR pic.twitter.com/g9BbOkmnt0
— NCAA (@NCAA) March 30, 2020
For those that would have exhausted eligibility during the 2019-20 season, Monday’s vote also provided universities with the flexibility to give athletes the opportunity to return for 2020-21 — without requiring that aid come in at the same level as what for awarded for the 2019-20 year.
From the NCAA:
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.