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NCAA Awards Extra Year of Eligibility to Division I College Spring Athletes

Great news for college athletes, especially seniors!

The NCAA Division I Council voted on Monday to grant an extra year of eligibility to spring-sport athletes whose seasons were canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The NCAA’s ruling will extend the eligibility of all student-athletes in spring sports, including all underclassmen impacted by the cancellations. The decision will also allow schools to expand their roster sizes beyond current scholarship limits to account for incoming recruits and seniors who were expected to leave. Obviously, the impact is greatest on graduating seniors, but the decision applies to all athletes whose spring seasons were interrupted by the outbreak.

“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” said Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletic director at the University of Pennsylvania. “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.”

The council also increased the roster limit in baseball for student-athletes impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, which is the only spring sport with such a limit.

In addition to baseball, other sports impacted by the decision include Lacrosse (M/W), Softball, Volleyball (M), Golf, and Track & Field (M/W).

Winter sports weren’t included in the decision, according to the NCAA’s statement. Council members declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where a majority of their regular seasons were already completed.

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