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NCAA council recommends extra eligibility for fall sports student-athletes

ncaa-voting-recruiting-dead-period-legislation-early-enrollee-eligibility-proposal-2020-2021-covid19 Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

With the Pac-12 postponing fall sports on Tuesday due to the coronavirus pandemic, one

of the biggest questions left unanswered was how that would affect the eligibility of student-athletes impacted by either canceling those sports or moving them to the spring.

Now it appears we know what their fate is.

The NCAA Division I Council recommended Wednesday that its Board of Directors adopt “minimum protections” for student-athletes affected by COVID-19, either due to opting out of the season or having that season shortened. The recommendations, which are to be finalized by Aug. 21, include:

  • an additional season of competition if a student-athlete participates in 50 percent or fewer of the maximum number of competitions allowed in each sport
  • an extension of the five-year period of eligibility

For the Arizona Wildcats this would apply to football, women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s and women’s cross country. These recommendations are similar to the ones the NCAA adopted for spring sports athletes after the 2020 season was halted in mid-March.

Additionally, the NCAA also extended its recruiting dead period through at least Sept. 30, limiting any contact between coaches and prospects to phone calls, texts and other electronic communication. This ban on in-person contact and evaluation has been in place since March.