SPORTS

NCAA Grants Winter Student-Athletes Additional Year Of Eligibility Amid Pandemic

Oct 14, 2020, 3:57 PM
NCAA - Basketball...
A NCAA logo is seen on the wall as Yeshiva players warmup prior to playing against Worcester Polytechnic Institute during the NCAA Division III Men's Basketball Championship - First Round at Goldfarb Gymnasium on at Johns Hopkins University on March 6, 2020 in Baltimore, Maryland. On Thursday, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan announced that Maryland had confirmed three cases of residents with COVID-19, otherwise known as the Coronavirus, prompting Johns Hopkins officials to host the NCAA men's basketball tournament without spectators. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The NCAA granted student-athletes that compete in winter sports an additional year of collegiate eligibility amid the coronavirus pandemic.

On Wednesday, October 14, the Division I Council voted that winter sports athletes who compete in the 2020-21 season will receive an additional season of competition and an additional year of eligibility.

“The pandemic will continue to impact winter sport seasons in ways we can’t predict. Council members opted to provide for winter sport student-athletes the same flexibility given spring and fall sports previously,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “The actions today ensure the continuation of local decision-making in the best interest of each institution and its student-athletes.”

The affected winter sports include:

  • Men’s and women’s basketball teams
  • Women’s bowling
  • Men’s and women’s fencing
  • Men’s and women’s gymnastics
  • Men’s and women’s ice hockey teams
  • Men’s, women’s, and mixed rifle
  • Men’s, women’s, and mixed skiing
  • Men’s and women’s swimming and diving
  • Men’s and women’s indoor track and field
  • Men’s wrestling

The Competition Oversight Committee had already approved flexibility for championships selection:

  • “Teams in winter sports can participate in as few as 50% of the required minimum contests/dates of competition and still be considered for championships selection. Men’s and women’s basketball previously set their minimum contest number at 13. This reduction is consistent with what was provided for fall sports.”
  • “Teams in winter sports are not required to have an overall won-lost record of .500 or better, which is normally required for teams to be eligible for at-large championships selections. This also is consistent with what was provided for fall sports teams.”

The BYU men’s basketball team is scheduled to open its season against Pepperdine on December 31.

Schedules for the Utah and Utah State men’s basketball teams have yet to be announced.

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