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NCAA Rules In Favor Of Eligibility Relief For Division I Spring Athletes

(Photo by Shane Bevel/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

The NCAA's Division I Council ruled in favor of eligibility relief for Division I spring student-athletes, it was announced Monday.

The move comes after the NCAA's Division II and III administrative committees announced that they would grant spring student-athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the impact of the recent worldwide coronavirus outbreak on the 2020 spring athletic season.

According to a statement from the NCAA, the Division I Council approved a blanket waiver for all spring student-athletes to get an extra year of eligibility, which effectively extends each student-athlete's five-year "clock" by one year. The decision states that it will be up to each school to decide aid for student-athletes, ranging from no aid to the amount of aid student-athletes received the year before.

The NCAA's statement adds: "Members also adjusted financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more members on scholarship to account for incoming recruits and student-athletes who had been in their last year of eligibility who decide to stay. In a nod to the financial uncertainty faced by higher education, the Council vote also provided schools with the flexibility to give students the opportunity to return for 2020-21 without requiring that athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20. This flexibility applies only to student-athletes who would have exhausted eligibility in 2019-20."

Schools will now have the option to use the NCAA's Student Assistance Fund to pay for scholarships for student-athletes who choose to use their additional eligibility during the 2020-21 academic year.

The options on the table for the Division I Council on Monday were to give all spring student-athletes a year of eligibility back, give only current senior spring student-athletes a year of eligibility back, give no spring student-athletes a year of eligibility back or to postpone the discussion to a later date.

Back on March 12, the NCAA made an unprecedented decision to cancel both its winter and spring championships due to the coronavirus outbreak.

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