By Austin Payne
The NCAA’s Division 1 Council Coordination Committee met on Monday to vote on the proposal of granting an extra year of eligibility to spring sport athletes after the recent events of the COVID-19 pandemic has derailed pretty much all sporting events entirely.
Winter sports are not included in this exception made by the committee, which most notably will affect basketball players who did not get a chance to participate in this seasons annual March Madness Tournament that was ultimately cancelled without rescheduling.
“Division I rules limit student-athletes to four seasons of competition in a five-year period,” the NCAA wrote in a statement on Monday. “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.”
Spring athletes will be eligible to return to their schools for the 2020-21 season, although schools will be forced to offer “less or zero aid to match what they provided this year.”
This allowance obviously comes with logistical challenges such as roster spots, (especially on sports with shorter benches) as well as the financial side of the changes. The NCAA just announced last week that they were cutting the funding to division 1 programs by hundreds of millions of dollars, which is a drastic change.
The sports world as a whole continues to be afflicted by this virus as does the rest of society, with all other leagues around the world like the NBA, NFL, MLS, and many others being forced to either alter or cancel their respective scheduled events altogether.
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The future remains uncertain as we’re unsure at what point anything will return to normal for the world, sports fans, or athletes alike.