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Penn State Athletics: NCAA Approves Eligibility Relief For Spring Sport Athletes

by on March 13, 2020 4:31 PM

A day following the cancelation of all sports for the remainder of the academic calendar, the NCAA has ruled that spring sport student-athletes will be granted eligibility relief in the future.

"Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for Division I student-athletes who participated in sporing sports," a statement by the NCAA read. "Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. Additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and weeks."

In effect the ruling would allow spring athletes who would have otherwise seen their eligibility expire at the conclusion of the 2020 season to return without penalty. The cancelation of all sports on Thursday afternoon prematurely ended seasons not only of winter sports entering the postseason, but sports still in the midst of regular season play.

This decision would impact the likes of lacrosse, softball and baseball among other spring sports. No ruling or statement has been made about any eligibility changes for student-athletes who took part in winter sports.

There are a handful of logistical issues that the NCAA will have to work out following the ruling. For example it would seem likely that teams would be afforded different scholarship limitations as recruiting often accounts for the departures of student-athletes. A senior set to return for an extra season would potentially take up the assumed scholarship place of an incoming freshman. The NCAA has not yet commented on this or any specific issue regarding the ruling, but will likely do so in the coming days and weeks.

The NCAA has not yet commented on whether or not the selection committee will announce a bracket for the now canceled NCAA men's basketball tournament which was set to be released on Sunday.

Ben Jones covers Penn State football and basketball for He's on Twitter as @Ben_Jones88.
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