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NCAA ‘unlikely’ to grant college basketball players extra year of eligibility amid coronavirus crisis

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Washington v Arizona Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images

The NCAA has already agreed that granting spring student-athletes an extra year of eligibility is the right move after their seasons were cut short by the coronavirus.

However, it is reportedly not so willing to do the same for winter student-athletes, which include men’s and women’s basketball players.

Jon Rothstein of CBS is reporting that scenario is “unlikely.”

That was always the case anyway. More than half of college basketball teams completed a full season. Not to mention it would create a scholarship crunch and put some incoming freshmen, who have already signed their National Letters of Intent, into unforeseen situations. (Imagine you were told you were going to compete for a starting job as a freshman, only to find out that a senior is returning and will occupy the spot.)

Yes it is unfortunate that many players will not get another shot to play in the NCAA Tournament, but should that trump all the other logistical issues that would arise from granting them an extra year of eligibility?

The NCAA evidently doesn’t think so.

From Arizona’s standpoint, it is unlikely any of the seniors on the men’s team would have taken advantage of an exception anyway, though an extra year of eligibility certainly could have benefitted some of the underclassmen later in their careers.

As far as the women’s team, senior starters Dominique McBryde and Amari Carter along with key reserves Lucia Alonso and Tee Tee Starks could have returned for another season, further bolstering what is expected to be a top-15 team assuming Aari McDonald spurns the WNBA Draft.