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Thursday, April 22, 2021

NCAA Division I Council extends eligibility for winter sports athletes, waives football bowl requirements

Article Originally Published by John Fields on North Texas Daily

Article Originally Published by John Fields on North Texas Daily

The NCAA Division I Council announced several rule changes for the 2020 season today impacting football and winter sports competition. These include allowing an extra year of eligibility for winter sports athletes and waiving the minimum win requirement for football bowl selections.

The Council’s ruling on additional eligibility for winter sports athletes means senior athletes in sports like basketball, indoor track and field and swimming and diving will be able to compete this season and still have an additional year of eligibility for next season. This ruling is similar to one made in March providing an additional year of eligibility to athletes who competed in spring sports and had their seasons cut short by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Council chair M. Grace Calhoun said the additional eligibility was approved due to the uncertainty of winter teams’ seasons during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the NCAA.

“The pandemic will continue to impact winter sport seasons in ways we can’t predict,” Calhoun said. “Council members opted to provide for winter sport student-athletes the same flexibility given spring and fall sports previously. The actions today ensure the continuation of local decision-making in the best interest of each institution and its student-athletes.”

The Council also waived football bowl eligibility requirements and the minimum requirement for the number of contests played by football teams this season. Teams will not have to be at or above a .500 winning percentage to be eligible for bowls this season as they normally would.

Calhoun said the bowl requirements were waived to allow more participation in bowl games this season, according to an announcement from the NCAA.

“In keeping with the Division I membership’s desire to provide maximum flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Council voted to allow as many student-athletes as possible the opportunity to participate in bowl games this year,” Calhoun said. “The decision also provides some certainty for schools and coaches as we move toward the postseason.”

Featured Image: The Mean Green runs out on the field for the game against Southern Mississippi on Oct. 3, 2020. Image by Zachary Thomas

Source: North Texas Daily

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