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NCAA relaxes eligibility rules for all spring sports

Updated March 13, 2020 - 4:49 pm

The NCAA is granting “eligibility relief” to all Division I spring sports athletes, opening the way for seniors to return next year and others to get an additional season.

That was the decision by the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee on Friday, a day after college sports’ governing body shut down all sports for the remainder of the academic year because of the spread of coronavirus.

That brought an abrupt end to all spring sports as well as winter sports such as the men’s and women’s basketball.

Whether those in winter sports will receive extra eligibility remains to be seen. The NCAA’s announcement targeted the spring sports, but even there much was unknown.

“Additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and weeks,” the NCAA statement read.

At least two major issues need to be resolved:

— How much leeway would schools be given with roster and scholarship limitations to balance current seniors who decide to return with incoming freshmen and transfers?

— Would the schools be responsible for the extra scholarship costs? Connecticut women’s basketball coach Geno Auriemma told ESPN that the NCAA should cover any additional expenses to retain athletes.

Because of the uncertainty of where this is headed, UNLV is withholding any kind of official comment at this point.

UNLV men’s golf coach Dwaine Knight said he didn’t have much information, but he said he hoped at the very least players would be able to complete their education.

“I would be in favor of that because circumstances were out of their control,” Knight said. “I believe this would give some sense of control getting back to students wanting to finish their degree.”

The NCAA committee also announced a moratorium on in-person recruiting for all Division I sports through at least April 15. It also advised that schools suspend previously scheduled official or unofficial campus visits with recruits.

Contact reporter Mark Anderson at manderson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @markanderson65 on Twitter.

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