NCAA to give spring sport athletes eligibility to play another season

Dave Uram
March 31, 2020 - 8:34 am
The national office of the NCAA in Indianapolis

Michael Conroy/AP Photo, file

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The NCAA will permit Division I spring-sport athletes — such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players — who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus pandemic to have an additional year of eligibility.

The cancellation of spring athletics wiped out basically the entire season for these athletes. So, the NCAA's Division I Council is doing what Division II and  Division III already did. This spring season won't count against an athlete's eligibility. Anybody with one year left is allowed to come back next year.

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The council is made up of college sports administrators representing all 32 D-I conferences, plus two members of the student-athlete advisory committee.

Schools will be able to have more scholarships next year to factor returning seniors and incoming recruits. However, current athletes who have one year left aren't guaranteed financial aid next season. 

The amount could range from nothing to as much the athlete had been receiving.

The NCAA is leaving that up to the schools because of the financial uncertainty they may face.

The added scholarships could cost a school hundreds of thousands of dollars more than it would usually spend on spring-sport athletes. The extra expenses come at a time when athletic departments could be facing cutbacks. The cancellation of the NCAA men's basketball tournament cut the association's distribution to members by $375 million this year.

This extra year of eligibility doesn’t apply to winter sports, such as basketball and hockey, because they were able to complete most of their season.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.