Colleges have suspended, postponed, or canceled athletic contests due to the COVID-19 outbreak thereby affecting eligibility concerns for student-athletes. Based on the widespread issues related to the coronavirus, The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) will grant athletes relief for a season of eligibility, according to Sports Illustrated.
“Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports,” the NCAA released in a statement. “Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. Additional issues with the NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and weeks.”
In-person recruiting was banned by the NCAA last week until at least April 15. Schools were also advised to suspend visits of all kinds for recruits in that same time frame. They are still allowed to communicate via phone calls and written communications.
The decision to grant athletes relief came on the heels of the news reporting that all spring and winter NCAA championships were canceled by the Board of Governors.
“Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men’s and women’s 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships,” the NCAA said in a statement. “This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to the spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities.”
USA Today also reported that the letter also stated, “The committee recognizes that student-athletes are making life decisions that will be helped by understanding whether an additional season of competition would be available,” the letter said, “and as such, will work in a timely manner to make informed decisions.”
An official statement provided by the NCAA Board of Governors and directed to members encouraged schools and conferences “to make decisions and take action in the best interest of student-athletes and their communities.”
“The NCAA Board of Governors directs Division I, II, and III to consider necessary adjustments to or waivers of rules where appropriate,” the statement continued.