NCAA grants spring athletes extra year

The NCAA’s Division I Council voted Monday to grant student-athletes in spring sports an additional season of eligibility.

The ruling allows for spring sport programs to exceed current scholarships limits, and baseball teams can surpass their current roster limit — the only spring sport with such a limit — because seniors will have to coexist on rosters with incoming freshman classes.

At the same time, it was not mandated that institutions provide returning seniors with the same scholarship amount for the 2021 season. So they have a spot on the roster, but they are not guaranteed any scholarship money.

“In a nod to the financial uncertainty faced by higher education, the Council vote also provided schools with the flexibility to give students the opportunity to return for 2020-21 without requiring that athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20,” the NCAA statement read. “This flexibility applies only to student-athletes who would have exhausted eligibility in 2019-20.”

The NCAA added that schools can dip into its Student Assistance Fund to help pay for scholarships of students who end up taking advantage of the additional year.

“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” council chair M. Grace Calhoun, the athletic director at Penn, said in a statement. “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.”

Monday’s ruling for eligibility relief applies to spring athletes of all classes, essentially extending their five-year window to six to complete four seasons.

Athletes in winter sports, however, will not receive eligibility relief, because their seasons were mostly completed.


  1. I’ve got mixed emotions on this one. On one hand, I understand the athletes were denied their entire season. However, on the other hand, think about the incoming freshmen. If everyone stays the extra year, they have compete for playing time against 4 other classes instead of the normal 3. Not sure how it will all work out or if the seniors will stay the extra year. Sometimes good intentions to help some wind up hurting others.

  2. I share your mixed emotions, think. But I’m leaning toward sympathy for the incoming freshman. If you’re a fourth or fifth year senior, you’ve had your experience, or your opportunity over the last three or four years. It does not seem fair to delay the incoming freshman’s experience or opportunity just so that the older guys get another season. And as far as the opportunity to be drafted, you have to believe that the window of opportunity has closed for most of the returning seniors. If they were good enough to be drafted, they probably would have been by now, and would no longer be in college. But incoming freshman with the potential to be a pro have a short amount of time to display their talent and attract the MLB scouts.

    It’s a tough situation and one that is not great for either the freshman or the returning seniors.

  3. My nephew has been heavily recruited by UNLV to play baseball. He got a call from the coach and my nephew was told based on this decision, they were re-evaluating their needs for next year. He stated that they may not bring in any freshman next year and stick with what they have. He is now looking at the juco route and then get recruited that way. I think the junior colleges are going to get slammed and have some really good talent coming their way.

    1. IU92,
      That is all well and good for the JUCO’s but guess what you just did to some kids who might not have been good enough to play at other levels, but would have been able to play JUCO ball? I think this is a terrible ruling by the feckless ncaa which appeases this year’s seniors at the expense of this fall’s freshmen class. Worst thing about it is the precedent we are setting. When you set precedents like this, you never know when they will come back to bite you on down the road.

      I hate it for all the athletes who have been affected by this but they have got to learn a very hard lesson, life does these type things to you every once in a while. If you whine and cry about it in order to be gotten out of the problem, what happens when something more severe down the road comes along and you can’t be gotten out of it?

  4. guess what you just did to some kids who might not have been good enough to play at other levels, but would have been able to play JUCO ball?

    Train just moves on down the line…Sometimes you just don’t get what you thought was there for the taking. You move on and learn the hard lessons in life, love and capitalism. Welcome to the world of doors slammed in the face. When was being good enough a reason to be given an opportunity in any world? Business is politics….Politics is politics…Sports is politics. I would suggest looking at our nation’s CEO’s and our leaders in Washington as pharaohs.
    Worship and accept all decisions of the gods and kings. Stay at your 9 to 5 delivering Amazon packages not-so-essential while the kings retreat to their palaces to social distance in gold and luxury.

    Just build that damn pyramid and don’t ask questions…Somebody will get to work on the top in their lifetime. It’s just not going to be you, JUCO wannabee. There’s always next year…and the year after that…and the year after that…and the year after that…and the year after that ….and the year after that. Sometimes you inherit the ladder. Sometimes the ladder breaks…Sometimes the owner of the ladder just keeps kicking you in the teeth with the big fat boot. They see you as dung on every ladder rung.
    Bigger things going on in the world. Stop your whining. Did you actually think you could level a playing field in the same fashion your level swing drives a blistering single between second and short? Get out your hankie and mop up those tears. You just found out the game is often rigged. You ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

    Buck keeps a passin’…. Dreams keep a crushin’ …. Train keeps a rollin’‘.

  5. Whaa, whaa, whaa! Rich people are bad, corporations are bad, the government is bad, Tom Crean is bad….If I have to listen to any more of that drivel, I will go out and get Covid-19 just so I won’t hear it anymore. Life is unfair and there are winners and losers. There has been and there always will be. Pull up your big boy pants, figure out how what you are good at and then figure out how to get paid for it. It is as simple as that.

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