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NCAA grants extra season of eligibility for spring athletes

Spring athletes will be allowed one extra season of eligibility.
Spring athletes will be allowed one extra season of eligibility.

The NCAA has finally come to a decision regarding eligibility for athletes whose seasons were affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

In a statement released on Twitter Monday evening, it was announced that an extra year of eligibility will be allowed for athletes involved in spring sports this season. That extra year will not be granted to athletes participating in winter sports, however.

"The council's decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level," M. Grace Calhoun, chair of the NCAA Division I Council and University of Pennsylvania Athletics Director, said in a release. "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."

The NCAA's full statement can be found in the link within the tweet below.

The statement also said that financial aid and roster rules would be adjusted to help accommodate the problem of seniors deciding to stay another year while incoming recruits are still joining the team next season.

"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," the statement read. "This flexibility applies only to student-athletes who would have exhausted eligibility in 2019-20. Schools also will have the ability to use the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay for scholarships for students who take advantage of the additional eligibility flexibility in 2020-21."

It was previously reported that the Discussion I Council would discuss and vote Monday on eligibility relief for athletes whose seasons were impacted by the pandemic.

“To be sure, we applaud the NCAA Division I Council for its decision regarding an extension of eligibility for thousands of student-athletes nationwide," Duke Vice President and Director of Athletics Kevin White wrote in an email to The Chronicle. "In the short term, we will work diligently with the student-athletes, coaches and administrators to reconcile the details as they pertain to Duke.”

A few weeks ago, Duke men's basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski called for all spring athletes to receive an extra year of eligibility, and that there should be a discussion centered around doing the same for basketball players as well.

Editor's Note: This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.

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