The US National Collegiate Athletics Association ( NCAA) Division 1 council chaired by Grace Calhoun has voted to extend the eligibility of spring-sport-student-athletes for an additional season due to coronavirus crisis.
The spring sports the extension apply to are athletics, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, lacrosse, beach volleyball and rowing. The extension will not include sport which started in winter season like basketball, gymnastics and wrestling.
Division I rules currently limit student-athletes to competing in four seasons of competition during a five-year period.
“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” Calhoun, who is also athletics director at the University of Pennsylvania, 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.”
The Council also approved an increase in the team size for baseball teams, which would enable student-athletes impacted by the coronavirus outbreak to participate.
A decision was also taken to allow NCAA members to adjust financial-aid rules to allow teams to carry more members on scholarships.
The NCAA last month cancelled all winter and spring championships – including the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments – because of the spread of coronavirus in the United States.
The men’s and women’s basketball tournaments – often known as March Madness – are two of the NCAA’s biggest events of the year.
The women’s gymnastic championships, baseball’s College World Series, ice hockey’s Frozen Four and both men’s and women’s golf championships were also among the cancelled events.