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Daily Camera: Spring athletes on hiatus likely to receive extra year of eligibility from NCAA


News Junkie
The latest NCAA fallout from the coronavirus pandemic likely will be hollow solace for a Colorado men’s basketball team dealing with the disappointment of not being able to compete in the NCAA Tournament.

Same for a CU women’s basketball team that was eyeing a chance to extend its season in the WNIT. Yet for all of the Buffaloes’ spring athletes whose seasons were wiped off the docket, it appears relief is on the way.

On Friday, the NCAA announced it will offer eligibility relief for student-athletes who participate in spring sports, all of whom had their seasons canceled on Thursday as fears regarding the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to grip the nation.

For CU, that would include athletes in women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s golf, women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field. At other regional schools, additional prominent programs set to be included in the eligibility relief would be the baseball programs at Air Force and Northern Colorado, the softball program at Colorado State, and the men’s lacrosse program at the University of Denver, among others.

Details regarding the spring sport eligibility relief have yet to be finalized, such as whether this will affect only 2019-20 seniors or all athletes across the board. The NCAA also will have to adopt temporary adjustments to its scholarship allotments for the various sports, as allowing 2019-20 seniors to return for another year will force programs to exceed the usual scholarship totals when the 2020-21 freshmen also are added to the mix.

The full statement released Friday by the NCAA regarding spring sport eligibility relief:

“Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports. 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.”

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Club Member
Club Member
Interesting to see how this develops. Things of interest to me (some also noted in the above artile) include:
  • How they'll handle the scholarship situation. As noted in the article, if they don't temporarily allow the increase in # of scholarships allowed for the various sports, it may not mean much.
  • Will it just be seniors given an additional year, or ALL classes?
  • Will it just be spring sports, or, since almost all if not all their championships were cancelled (which is every athlete's main chance to be in the spotlight), might the winter sports athletes also be given an additional year?
  • With some affected athletes already having taken a redshirt, will the 5 year to complete eligibility limitation also be waived?
  • I believe skiing also has a maximum age limit which some of CU's skiers are I believe up against, so at least for that sport they'd also have to allow that to be raised a year for current collegiate athletes.
  • For track and field specifically, the indoor season is I believe used as training. Would that, along with the fact the Championships were cancelled, increase the odds THAT winter sport's athletes might be given an additional year even if other winter sports aren't.
(Note - With their talent, I'd GUESS the top Buff runners (Dani Jones, Joe Klecker, Makena Morley, etc.) probably already have plans to turn pro this summer, so assume this decision won't matter to them. Although, maybe if the Olympics are postponed a year and they have academic pursuits they could pursue, who knows????)


Club Member
Club Member
Just wanted to note that the NCAA Division 1 council did officially vote today to grant spring season student-athletes an additional year of eligibility. (See the article linked to below for more detail.)

Direct link to release/ article - http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/division-i-council-extends-eligibility-student-athletes-impacted-covid-19

From my quick reading of it, a few things of note-
  • As expected, winter sport athletes (at CU- basketball, indoor track and field, skiing) are NOT being given any additional year, even though they weren't able to compete at their championships/ NCAA tournament.
  • Spring season student-athletes who were effected get an extra year added to their "5 year clock".
  • Schools will be allowed to exceed their scholarship limits.
  • Not even sure what it is, but "Schools also will have the ability to use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay for scholarships for students who take advantage of the additional eligibility flexibility in 2020-21." (Does that mean it won't directly increase individual schools' AD's deficits, which will already be affected by not earning any "March Madness" revenue?)