Student-athletes who participate in spring sports will not lose a year of eligibility due to the coronavirus pandemic, the NCAA announced Friday.
A day after spring season championships were canceled and nearly all the spring sports were eliminated, this was one way to make up for the lost season for baseball, softball, lacrosse and track and field athletes, among others.
“Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports,” the NCAA said in a statement. “Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. Additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and weeks.”
On social media, some have expressed hope senior basketball players would also be given an extra year of eligibility, although that seems unlikely since only the postseason was interrupted. Under the current rules, once a student-athlete appears in 30 percent of his or her season schedule or past the halfway point of that season, it counts as a year of eligibility.
For now, the NCAA’s Council Coordination Committee is looking into winter sports and will discuss the matter.
“There is tremendous empathy for the student-athletes, especially the seniors, first of all on the basketball teams because it’s at the end of our season, March Madness,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said in a video the school released. “It’s one of the really [great] gifts that our country has. It makes everyone feel better. These are moments that these kids work hard for and live for.”
In-person recruiting was banned by the NCAA on Friday until at least April 15 and schools were advised to suspend visits of all kinds for recruits in that time frame. Phone calls and written communications will be allowed. This announcement didn’t slow down the transfer portal, as numerous players opted to give themselves the opportunity to transfer.