NCAA Extends Eligibility for Spring Athletes: Schools to Renew Scholarships

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NCAA Extends Eligibility for Spring Athletes: Schools to Renew Scholarships

NCAA extends eligibility for spring athletes

Image Source: Keith Srakocic, AP

A waiver with an extra year of eligibility issued to athletes. NCAA has excluded basketball and winter sports. The coordination committee came to a conclusion on Monday to grant an additional year of eligibility for the spring athletes due to coronavirus pandemic. The schools will determine how much scholarships to be given.

The NCAA coordination committee decided to give an extra year of eligibility to the spring athletes considering the coronavirus pandemic as the season was shortened. The situation put many schools in a tough position. The seniors ready to move out could benefit from the program and make up for the cancellation.

NCAA was closely evaluating the situation of the coronavirus pandemic as a preventive measure to protect and safeguard the student-athletic players. They canceled all winter and spring championships including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments got canceled.

The decision of NCAA to cancel the March madness and all winter and spring championships evoked concern and anxiety to players, coaches, and schools alike. Coronavirus pandemic affected college athletes and players globally. Many of the games got postponed or canceled. As the US has the most number of cases of COVID-19, college student-athletes were extremely bothered about the ongoing scholarships and seasonal games.

NCAA has clearly made a point in their statements that it would be the schools that will determine the number of scholarships. Either they can give as much as it used to be or nothing. The statement initially brought no clarity yet it meant that student-athlete could be offered a position in the team but not actual money if they are willing to return due to abrupt ending of seasons. The end result would be the confusion and budget constraints in the coming year.

In normal cases, the student-athletes were offered four seasons in a five-year span. “The council’s decision allows schools to self-apply waivers to restore one of those seasons of competitions to student-athletes who had competed while eligible in the COVID-19 shortened 2020 spring season’, as per the statement of NCAA. The spring athletes would be able to come back in 2020-21 to schools.

The Student Assistance Fund promoted by NCAA for scholarships could be of great help to schools. The schools could take decisions at campus levels and the board of directors of the NCAA wanted schools to keep in mind their actions and it should be for the best interest of the student-athletes.

Earlier NCAA has announced a slashing of the fund to schools due to sudden shutdown in the sports activities as coronavirus was spreading rapidly.

Winter sports and basketball were not considered in the extension program. Most other sport event seasons had been completed and they too got declined for extension programs. If things go uncertain due to the novel coronavirus spread, NCAA would face a huge loss in terms of tickets, revenue, and donations for the sports events.

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