The NCAA Division 1 Board of Directors says it will work to host scaled-back fall championships next spring. The Indianapolis-based organization says board members are recommending that the fall championships should be played at that time “only if they can be conducted safely and in accordance with federal, state and local health guidelines.”
The board made the determination to adopt the Division I Council recommendations regarding fall championships. The NCAA says the final decisions on bracket sizes and composition will be approved by the board.
“We want to provide opportunities for student-athletes whenever possible,” said acting board chair Denise Trauth, president of Texas State University. “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.”
The board has directed the council, as well as the Division I competition and football oversight committees to work on models for championships in the impacted fall sports.
The NCAA says all fall sport student-athletes will receive both an additional year of eligibility and an additional year to complete it through a blanket waiver.
Additionally, the board adopted specific recommendations, effective immediately, for the protection of student-athletes, including:
- 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.