NCAA Will Give Spring Sports Athletes Another Year of Eligibility, Still Considering Whether to Do So for Winter Sports Athletes

By Dan Hope on March 13, 2020 at 2:06 pm
Ohio State men's lacrosse team in 2017

After their seasons all came to an abrupt end on Thursday, spring sports athletes are in line to receive another year of eligibility from the NCAA.

The NCAA announced Friday that it has “agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports.”

The Athletic's Nicole Auerbach and Stadium's Jeff Goodman both reported on Friday that the NCAA's Division I Council Coordinator Committee is still considering whether to do the same for winter sports athletes whose seasons also ended early on Thursday, when the NCAA announced it was canceling all of its championship competitions for the remainder of the academic year.

Athletes in spring sports – which include baseball and softball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, rowing, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, track and field and men’s volleyball at Ohio State – did not even get the opportunity to play a full regular season after Thursday's announcements by the NCAA and by the Big Ten which announced that all competitions for conference schools would be canceled for the remainder of the academic year.

For winter sports athletes, that decision could be more complicated, as some had already concluded their seasons before Thursday while most – including men's and women's basketball, men's and women's hockey and wrestling – had completed their regular seasons, though their postseasons were cut short.

Additionally, the NCAA will likely need to allow a temporary adjustment to the scholarship limit for any sports in which it grants an additional year of eligibility to all athletes, presenting another logistical hurdle.

The NCAA also informed schools on Friday that a recruiting dead period is now in effect through April 15, banning all on-campus visits for recruits and off-campus recruiting travel for coaches.

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