Athletes participating in NCAA Division I spring sports received extended eligibility following a vote by the Division I Council on Monday, while winter-sport athletes were denied.
By rule, Division I athletes have five years to complete four seasons. Schools can now self-apply waivers to restore one season for spring-sport athletes whose seasons were cut short by the COVID-19 crisis.
Financial aid rules were adjusted so teams can have more members on scholarship to account for incoming freshmen and athletes who in 2019-20 were in their final season of eligibility, but choose to return.
Athletes in their final seasons of NCAA eligibility — many of whom seniors — will not be guaranteed the scholarship aid they had in 2019-20; the NCAA is giving universities the option to provide the same amount of aid, less or none at all for that classification of athletes.
Schools may use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay scholarships to students who accept extra eligibility.
“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Penn, stated in a release. “The Board of Governors encouraged conferences and schools to take action in the best interest of student-athletes and their communities, and now schools have the opportunity to do that.”
Members also voted to increase the baseball scholarship limit. It was the only spring sport afforded that luxury.