NCAA Grants Year of Eligibility to Winter Student-Athletes


The NCAA announced on Oct. 14 that student-athletes who compete in winter sports will be granted another year of eligibility for the 2020-21 season. This waiver will go into effect, regardless of how many competitions athletes compete in during the 2019-20 academic year.

All winter sports student-athletes have been granted a one-year extension of their five-year eligibility clock. Any student-athlete who has already completed a redshirt year may now treat 2019-20 as another redshirt season.

This announcement is in line with the NCAA’s previous decisions about how to navigate eligibility issues during the Coronavirus outbreak. 

“Winter sport student-athletes should be provided with the maximum amount of flexibility for the upcoming season,” said Shane Tay, SFU’s Assistant Director of Athletics for Compliance.

This extra year affords most student-athletes the opportunity to decide whether they’re interested in pursuing another year of athletics at Saint Francis. 

This decision by the NCAA does not, however, automatically extend athletic scholarships for student-athletes.

“I wasn’t sure if I was going to stay to get my master’s degree” said AJ Schmidt, a junior Physical Therapy major on the men’s volleyball team. “Now, I have the ability to stay and play my last year.”

According to Tay, one of the most important things that athletes can do is “begin having conversations with your coaches about pursuing a fifth year of enrollment.” 

Since this NCAA waiver has no bearing on scholarships, student-athletes will have to make their decisions on a case-by-case basis.

Fall and spring student-athletes were granted a similar waiver by the NCAA earlier this year.