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Division I Council recommends eligibility protections, extends dead period

The Division I Council today recommended some minimum protections for student-athletes whose seasons are impacted by the coronavirus pandemic this year, and will finalize recommendations before Aug. 21.

According to a statement from the NCAA: “The Council recommended the board provide fall sport student-athletes who compete and then opt out of future participation or have a season cut short due to COVID-19: (1) an extension of their five-year period of eligibility; and (2) an additional season of competition if they participate in 50% or less of the maximum number of competitions allowed in each sport by Division I rules.”

“In this time of uncertainty, the Council members are working to create additional flexibility for college athletes whose seasons have been negatively impacted by the pandemic,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania, in the statement. “Every day things are changing in college sport, and we want to be as responsive as possible, with the best information, to help student-athletes and their families make important decisions for their future. The Council worked hard today and will seek membership input before we make final recommendations to the board next week.”

These are minimum recommendations and could be expanded.

There will be additional discussion on topics including protecting athletics aid for student-athletes who opt out of participation due to Covid-19 concerns, required medical coverage for students-athletes who contract the virus through sports participation, and financial aid limits for fall sports.

The group also extended the recruiting dead period through September 30. It was previously set to expire on August 31.