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Voting holiday, recruiting dead period, mid-year enrollee eligibility among items addressed by NCAA

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It was an historic day for the NCAA on Wednesday, far beyond approving a framework for the 2020-21 college basketball season.

The Division I Council has adopted a proposal to clear the way for student-athletes to participate in civic engagement on Election Day each year, either by voting or being involved in community service. Specifically, the first Tuesday after Nov. 1 (Nov. 3 this year) will be a day where “Division I student-athletes will not practice and compete, among other countable athletically related activities.”

The proposal, from the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, is the first piece of legislation to come from that group since Division I governance was restructured in 2014.

Voting was one of three items which impact the Arizona Wildcats that was addressed Wednesday, the others tied to how college sports have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Division I Council extended the recruiting dead period for all sports through the end of 2020. College coaches have not been able to have in-person contact with recruits since March, and until Jan. 1 will remain limited to electronic communication including phone calls, text messages, social media and virtual meetings.

And when it comes to 2021 recruits who sign in December with the intent on enrolling early, they will not be eligible to play during the 2020-21 academic year.

This would apply to football if the Pac-12 ends up having any games in 2021 as well as to other fall sports (soccer, volleyball, cross country) that were postponed.