NCAA grants “eligibility relief” to all spring sports players after COVID-19 outbreak

High Point’s midfielder Hayden Baker looks to check Maryland men’s lacrosse’s Logan Wisnauskas during the Terps’ 23-12 win on Feb. 1, 2020. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Student athletes who participated in spring sports will retain an extra year of eligibility, The NCAA’s Council Coordination Committee announced Friday.

It’s the latest in a string of decisions made in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. On Thursday, the NCAA canceled men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. Hours later, the Big Ten announced that it had canceled all conference and non-conference competitions until the end of the academic year.

The move was a dramatic one, abruptly calling a close on a number of college athletes’ careers. However, the NCAA’s announcement on Friday opens the door for student-athletes to stay an extra year and participate next season.

Furthermore, per ESPN’s Jeff Goodman, the committee will meet to discuss eligibility for winter sports student-athletes — many of whom still had games to play.

The Big Ten also announced Friday that all organized team activities will be suspended until April 6, 2020.

“The Big Ten Conference will use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine the next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic,” the conference announced in a statement posted on its website.

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