NCAA approves extra year of eligibility for spring sport athletes


Kentucky junior Mason Hazelwood pitches during the game against Norfolk State University on Saturday, March 7, 2020, at Kentucky Proud Park in Lexington, Kentucky. Kentucky won 11-1. Photo by | Staff

Braden Ramsey

The NCAA Division One Council voted to allow schools to give athletes in spring sports an extra year of eligibility. 

The eligibility extension was announced from the official Twitter account of the NCAA on Monday evening. 

“The Council’s decision gives schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun. The Penn athletic director added that schools and conferences were encouraged “to take action in the best interest of student-athletes and their communities.”

The same press release stated that the Council adjusted financial aid rules so teams will be able to carry more players on scholarship. This was due to incoming recruits and athletes who decide to use their extra year of eligibility. 

The Council also increased baseball’s roster limit because of the eligibility impact. It’s the only spring sport with such a limit. 

Winter sport athletes – such as basketball player Nate Sestina – were not given the same waiver, as the Council decided not to extend eligibility for sports where most of the competitive season was completed.

“I’m so disappointed that I’m not going to have another year to coach Nate and have him in our program. I know he’s disappointed and wanted to come back. He knew the chances weren’t great but that doesn’t make this hurt any less for him,” Coach Cal said in a statement. “I’m proud of how he’s handled the whole thing.”

“I’m going to miss seeing him in the gym every day but there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s helped himself and will have opportunities professionally if that’s what he chooses.”