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NCAA extends eligibility for student athletes in winter sports

Division I Council to extend eligibility in winter sports amid COVID-19

October 15, 2020


Austin Elmore

BB&T Arena, home of the NKU Norse basketball.

On Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Council decided to extend the eligibility of all winter sport student-athletes, allowing all players who compete in a winter sport during the 2020-21 season to receive an additional year of competition.

This decision hardly comes as a surprise since the NCAA previously granted an additional year of eligibility to fall sport and spring sport student-athletes earlier this year.

“The pandemic will continue to impact winter sport seasons in ways we can’t predict. Council members opted to provide for winter sport student-athletes the same flexibility given spring and fall sports previously,” M. Grace Calhoun, the Council chair and athletics director at the University of Pennsylvania, said in the NCAA press release.

In addition to providing an extra year of competition eligibility to winter sport student-athletes, the Division I Council came to several other agreements regarding participation in championship events for winter sport teams.

From the NCAA press release:

  • Teams in winter sports can participate in as few as 50% of the required minimum contests/dates of competition and still be considered for championships selection. Men’s and women’s basketball previously set their minimum contest number at 13. This reduction is consistent with what was provided for fall sports.
  • Teams in winter sports are not required to have an overall won-lost record of .500 or better, which is normally required for teams to be eligible for at-large championships selections. This also is consistent with what was provided for fall sports teams.

For NKU, this decision directly impacts both men’s and women’s basketball, which are both allowed to begin competition on Nov. 25. Men’s and women’s Indoor Track and Field student-athletes are also impacted by this decision.


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