The Division I Council has voted to allow spring sport student athletes an additional season and an extension to their period of eligibility.

With much unknown in the sporting world due to COVID-19, many spring sport athletes believed they had participated in their last sporting event. That was until the Division I Council voted to add an option for these athletes to extend their period of eligibility.

Division I schools will now have the ability to use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay for students who use the extended period of eligibility in 2020-21.

This will allow schools with spring athletes who decide to stay the financial aid to allow teams to carry more members on scholarship to account for incoming spring athletes and student athletes who would have been in their final year of eligibility.

Division I rules limit student athletes to four years of collegiate competition in a five-year period. The decision will allow Division I schools the option to self-apply waivers to restore one season of collegiate competition for the student-athlete who were affected by the COVID-19 shortened 2020 spring season.

“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” NCAA Council Chair M. Grace Calhoun said. “The Board of Governors encouraged conferences and schools to take action in the best interest of student-athletes and their communities, and now schools have the opportunity to do that.”

Winter athletes were not included in this ruling. The council members denied the request for winter sports to extend their eligibility due to the student athletes having participated in the majority or all of their regular season.

The sports that will be affected are men’s volleyball, baseball, softball and men’s and women’s lacrosse.

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