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NCAA Approves Extra Year of Eligibility for Winter Athletes

October 15, 2020 / Athletic AdministrationBasketballFootballHockeyWrestling
The NCAA’s Division I Council made some changes that will benefit winter student-athletes amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The council voted to approve an extra year of eligibility for winter student-athletes this week during its annual meetings, citing opportunity and flexibility to student-athletes with the cloud of uncertainty looming over the 2020-21 athletic year, according to a report from ESPN.com.

NCAA rule-makers previously voted to allow all spring sport athletes and fall sport athletes to maintain a year of eligibility, no matter what portion of their season was impacted by the pandemic, according to ESPN. The same rule will apply for any athlete who participates in a sport in the upcoming winter season. Council chair Grace Calhoun said the council didn’t want athletes opting to redshirt this year because of fears that their seasons might be cut short or otherwise negatively impacted by the pandemic, ESPN wrote.

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Photo: U.S. Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia / Creative Commons

“We felt it was important to make this decision now so student-athletes had the peace of mind to go into this season and compete,” Calhoun told ESPN. “They know they can regain that eligibility and have their clock automatically extended, so they’re not taking that chance on the front end if they choose to compete.”

In addition to granting the extra year of eligibility, the Division I Council also approved that all football programs will be allowed to compete in bowl games regardless of records. Furthermore, the council intends to propose new rules that would dictate how student-athletes can make money from their image, name, and likeness as well as allowing student-athletes to transfer one time without being forced to sit out a season, ESPN reported.

The NCAA’s board of governors will vote in January on whether to officially adopt those proposals. The details of both proposals can be changed at any point in the next three months leading up to that vote.

To read the full report from ESPN.com on all the details of the potential changes of the NCAA Division I athletics, click here