The NCAA voted in favor of allowing spring senior athletes an extra year of eligibility Monday.
The decision comes after spring sports schedules were ended early due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” said NCAA Council chair M. Grace Calhoun. “The Board of Governors encouraged conferences and schools to take action in the best interest of student-athletes and their communities, and now schools have the opportunity to do that.”
Returning 2020 seniors will not counts towards teams' scholarship limit, however, the NCAA will not mandate that school match those senior's scholarship aid. Last week, Louisiana athletic director Dr. Bryan Maggard estimated it would cost the school $500,000.
The NCAA voted against extending the eligibility waiver to winter athletes.
The Sun Belt conference weighed in on the news Monday supporting the NCAA's decision.
"The Sun Belt supports the decision made by the NCAA Division I Council to grant an additional year of eligibility for spring-sport student-athletes who were affected by the cancellation of their season due to the coronavirus outbreak," the conference said in a statement. "We will work with our membership and collaborate with the NCAA to determine how best to implement this resolution. The interest and well-being of our Sun Belt student-athletes are at the core of our mission. We believe this is the correct course of action because it's another opportunity for our student-athletes to have a complete competitive season."
The news will impact teams and players differently. Days after the spring season was canceled Gerry Glasco admitted to KATC he wasn't positive all of his seniors would return, given the chance. But he wasn't sure that was a bad thing. Glasco stressed the need for a prolonged scholarship relief to protect incoming student-athletes from getting lost in the shuffle, something the NCAA voted against.
"It's going to cause us to be really talented and really deep, but maybe a little overpopulated as program," he said, stressing that next year's freshman class will be short changed," he said.
Former Kaplan standout Abby Trahan was red-shirting at NC State this season, a team with 19-wins already. NC State has collectively been below .500 the past three years, but now the senior will get to join a Wolfpack team who appears to be peaking.
"It's also super exciting because we also feel like they heard our voice," she told KATC Monday night. "Because coaches have been really fighting for their seniors because they've worked so hard."