NCAA Division I to move fall championships to the spring, while granting athletes an additional year of eligibility

NCAA Division I to move fall championships to the spring, while granting athletes an additional year of eligibility
The NCAA has released its latest guidance to help member schools navigate competition during the pandemic. (Source: NCAA)

HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - In a video conference on Friday, it was determined by the NCAA Division I Board of Directors that Division I will work toward hosting scaled back fall championships in the Spring.

The board specified that this only pertains to fall championships, while final moves on bracket sizes and other factors will be later approved by the board.

The move to the spring will only be allowed if competitions can be conducted in accordance with federal, state and local health guidelines.

This will allow conferences who do not play in the fall the opportunity to be a part of their respective championships, also stating that the board’s other main goal is to preserve opportunities for winter and spring student-athletes that lost their season in 2019-20.

“We want to provide opportunities for student-athletes whenever possible.” Acting board chair Denise Trauth, president of Texas State said. “We understand it will be complicated and different, and we’re not certain how it will look. But we believe it’s important to try to give students that championship experience.”

In addition to this announcement, all fall sport student-athletes will receive a blanket waiver, giving them an additional year of eligibility and an additional year in order to use it.

Effective immediately, the board will adopt additional protections for college athletes.

These include:

  • Schools are prohibited from requiring student-athletes to waive legal rights regarding COVID-19 as a condition of athletics participation.
  • Schools are prohibited from canceling or reducing athletics scholarships if a college athlete in any sport opts not to participate due to COVID-19.
  • Student-athletes who do not enroll full time during the 2020 fall term have flexibility in the progress-toward-degree requirements that must be met for eligibility in future terms.
  • The financial aid of fall sport senior student-athletes who take advantage of the additional year of eligibility and extended clock will not count against team limits in 2021-22.

While individual schools are required to:

  • Review current insurance coverage for all student-athletes who are competing this fall.
  • Inform student-athletes about the risk classification of their sport as outlined in the Re-socialization of Collegiate Sport document.
  • Inform student-athletes how the mandates in the Re-socialization of Collegiate Sport document are being met at their campus.

Copyright 2020 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.