NCAA grants extra eligibility to spring athletes

On the heels of the cancellation of winter and spring sports championships, the NCAA has decided to extend extra eligibility to spring sport athletes.

The NCAA is the largest governing body of college student-athletes in the country.

The NCAA announced Monday night that the Division I council granted a waiver that gives spring athletes an additional year of competition and an extension on eligibility due to seasons being canceled following the COVID-19 outbreak.

This waiver allows schools to self-apply a waiver to give student-athletes an extra year of eligibility to compete in their sport that had their 2020 season cut short due to the outbreak. This will apply to Canisius athletes if the school so chooses, as the MAAC canceled all spring seasons on March 12. 

“The Council will allow schools to self-apply a one-year extension of eligibility for spring-sport student-athletes, effectively extending each student’s five-year ‘clock’ by a year. This decision was especially important for student-athletes who had reached the end of their five-year clock in 2020 and saw their seasons end abruptly,” the NCAA’s statement reads. 

As for scholarships, the schools will have the option to lower or match an athlete’s award from this season, but schools will be given help from the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund if they cannot afford to pay in full. 

In addition, the council also increased the roster limit for baseball, which is the only spring sport that has a roster limit. 

Winter sports were not included in the decision, due to the fact that most teams already had their seasons come to an end when the MAAC canceled spring sports. All Canisius winter teams had completed their season by March 12, when the MAAC’s announcement came.

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