SPORTS

NCAA Will Issue Eligibility Relief To Spring Athletes

Mar 13, 2020, 2:20 PM
NCAA - Georgia Dome...
A detail of giant NCAA logo is seen outside of the stadium on the practice day prior to the NCAA Men's Final Four at the Georgia Dome on April 5, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – It’s not often the NCAA makes a decision that is universally applauded. They did that on Friday by announcing they would give eligibility relief to athletes on spring athletic teams who are missing their entire seasons due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

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.

The sports that are classified under the spring classification by the NCAA include Men’s baseball, Women’s softball, Men’s and Women’s golf, Men’s and Women’s tennis, Men’s and Women’s outdoor track & field, Men’s and Women’s lacrosse, Women’s rowing, Men’s volleyball, Women’s beach volleyball, and Women’s water polo.

Athletes from all of these sports will maintain their current eligibility under this relief announced by the NCAA. For example, seniors will still have another year to play when the 2021 seasons for respective sports begin.

What about winter sports athletes?

The NCAA made no announcement regarding relief to winter sports athletes on Friday. Winter sports include Men’s and Women’s basketball teams. This is where it gets tricky as a majority of the seniors in winter sports completed all but the championships, does that warrant another year to be given?

Do you think the NCAA should grant winter athletes another year of eligibility following the cancellation of major sporting events due to the concern of coronavirus?

Posted by KSL Sports on Friday, March 13, 2020

Imagine having another year as fans to watch BYU’s Yoeli Childs or Utah State’s Sam Merrill compete at their colleges and have the chance to play in an NCAA Tournament setting.

“I do suspect that I have a large group of seniors that have fought so hard for this and they still got a boatload of fight in them. If the NCAA saw it fit to grant them another shot at this, which seems like potentially the only just or fair thing to do. I think we’d have some guys who are really, really excited about that.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12-3 pm) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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