NCAA Grants Extra Year for Spring Athletes Amid Coronavirus Pandemic

College athletes who participate in spring sports will get an extra year to compete. On Monday, the NCAA Division I Council voted to grant an extra year of eligibility to all student-athletes in spring sports whose seasons were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Schools will also be allowed to expand their roster beyond the scholarship limits for incoming recruits and seniors who were expected to leave after this year.

This move applies to student-athletes in the following sports, which include baseball, softball, tennis, golf, outdoor track and field, lacrosse, rowing, men's volleyball, beach volleyball, and women's water polo, according to ESPN. Division I Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletic director at the University of Pennsylvania, said: "The council's decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level. 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."

As far as winter sports go, the NCAA decided that student-athletes who participate in sports such as basketball, hockey, swimming and diving, and gymnastics will not earn an extra year. The decision to shut college athletics down was right when winter sports were entering postseason play. Earlier this month the NCAA made the big decision to cancel the men's and women's basketball tournament.

"This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities," NCAA's statement said.

The next move for the NCAA is getting schools the money to help the schools and athletic programs. Because of the pandemic, the NCAA is losing money with no sports being played. And as a result, the next year will be a challenging time for most schools according to NCAA president Mark Emert.


"The next 12 months are going to be extremely hard on a lot of colleges and universities, especially small colleges that aren't going to have tuition revenue," Emmert said. "They're going to have high costs because they sent their students away, but they still have all of their costs. They're not going to have any revenue from their endowments because of the crash of the stock market. The revenue from the tournaments isn't going to be there, and the revenue from us is unlikely to be as big as it has been in the past."