MORGANTOWN, W.Va.–On Friday, the NCAA Division I board of directors voted to grant fall student-athletes an additional year of eligibility and an additional year to complete it through a blanket waiver.
Whether athletes play in the fall, spring or opt out, this year will not count towards their eligibility. This is similar to the waiver granted for spring sport senior athletes.
Another subject on the agenda regarded the protection of student-athletes who opted out of the season. Schools can’t require student-athletes to waive their legal rights regarding COVID-19 as a condition of participation. Schools are also prohibited from canceling or reducing scholarships if an athlete decides not to participate because of COVID-19.
“By providing clarity and removing that uncertainty from their minds is something that’s going to be very beneficial as we move forward,” West Virginia Athletic Director Shane Lyons said to ESPN. “Not having a normal season, not having that normal 20 games in soccer, or 28 matches in volleyball, and even football not sure what that season’s going to look like, that was the No. 1 concern that the student-athletes had, was the eligibility piece.”
The board is also committed to working to host “scaled-back fall championships in the spring.” This will happen only if it can be conducted in a safe and legal fashion.