NCAA to allow student athletes affected by COVID-19 one extra year of eligibility


An NCAA baseball player prepares to hit. Photo from Wallpaperflare.

Ava Kopecky, Staff Reporter

The NCAA Division I Council has just recently voted to allow spring sport athletes impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak an additional season of competition and eligibility. These sports include baseball, softball, lacrosse and many others.

Schools have been aided by the division through the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund in order to pay for scholarships of the athletes that choose to take advantage of the extra year of eligibility.

The fund allows teams to carry more members on scholarship in order to give the students whose seasons came abruptly to an end another year of competition, and to also carry the incoming freshmen. The Council increased the roster limit for baseball, which was the only spring sport with a roster number limit.

The Council members voted to not include winter sports in the decision, opting to not extend eligibility for sports that have already completed their regular season. This includes sports like basketball, whose March Madness tournament was not carried out, and many other sports that did not finish their postseason.

The board of governors from the NCAA voted to distribute $225 million to Division I schools in June. They had originally planned to donate around $600 million, but cut the budget to less than half of that.

Despite the funding and financial aid given to schools, the scholarship budget will still be an issue for students hoping to play another year. Lacrosse, for example, does not usually fill an entire roster through scholarships, and many families will have to make an important decision on whether or not it is financially worth it for their student-athletes to compete another year.

Due to the current circumstances at hand, the 2020-2021 spring season looks to be a season unlike any other.