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NCAA Approves Blanket Waiver for Fall Sport Athletes

Raiders vs. NKU Men's Basketball Jan. 24 | Photo by Soham Parrikh | The Wright State Guardian

Raiders vs. NKU Men’s Basketball Jan. 24 | Photo by Soham Parrikh | The Wright State Guardian

The NCAA Division 1 council recommended to the NCAA a blanket waiver for 2020 fall sport athletes, which allows them to have an extra year of eligibility. 

“All fall sport student-athletes will receive both an additional year of eligibility and an additional year in which to complete it,” said the NCAA in a release. 

This is similar to the waiver that was approved for spring sport athletes, that granted them an extra year of eligibility. 

Help from the NCAA 

Schools across the country are forced to make budget cuts, making it a difficult time for college athletics.  

The NCAA has been extremely instrumental in helping the student-athletes, and making sure their health and safety are protected. 

“We want to provide opportunities for student-athletes whenever possible. 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,” said Acting Chair, NCAA DI Board of Directors and President of Texas State Denise Trauth. 

The decision to approve the blanket waiver was made right after the NCAA decided to hold fall championships in the spring. 

Student-athletes have a tough decision 

There are still a lot of details that have to be figured out with student-athletes gaining an extra year of eligibility. 

Since the NCAA approved the blanket waiver, it is now up to each individual conference on how to proceed. 

There are a lot of moving parts with this decision, such as what will happen to scholarships and will the seniors coming back be offered a scholarship for their extra year of eligibility. 

If student-athletes opt out of their season due to coronavirus concerns, the school still has to honor their scholarship. Also, whether the student-athlete plays this season or not, they will still earn the extra year of eligibility. 

“Schools are prohibited from canceling or reducing athletics scholarships if a college athlete in any sport opts not to participate due to COVID-19,” according to the NCAA’s website. 

The Horizon League has yet to make a decision regarding how this will all work, but once approved by the conference, athletes will have a tough decision to make whether they want to use that extra year. 

Wright State University is currently waiting on the final information from the Horizon League on how to proceed.