The Division I Board of Directors adopted new protections for college athletes due to COVID-19 on Aug. 21. Among the new protections was the decision to give all fall-sport student athletes both an additional year of eligibility and an additional year to complete the sport.
The board also approved four more council-recommended protections for all college athletes:
- Schools are prohibited from reducing or canceling scholarship funds for any athlete from any sport that declines to participate due to COVID-19.
- Schools are prohibited from requiring athletes to waive legal rights regarding COVID-19 as a condition of participation in athletics activities.
- Flexibility in the progress-toward-degree requirements will be given to any student athlete who does not enroll full time in the fall 2020 term.
- Financial aid for fall sport senior student athletes who use the additional year of eligibility will not count against team limits in 2021-2022.
The protections are effective immediately. Schools are also required to review insurance coverage for all fall sport student athletes.
The board also determined that Division I will work toward having smaller-scale fall championships in the spring. The decision came after more than 50 percent of schools participating in NCAA fall sports canceled or postponed their seasons.
Cal Poly Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Soccer as well as Men’s and Women’s Cross Country all had their seasons postponed by the Big West Conference on July 29. Cal Poly Football had their season postponed by the Big Sky Conference on Aug. 6.
The Division I Council, Division I Competition Oversight Committee and the Division I Football Oversight Committee were directed by the board to work on models for championships for the impacted fall sports. The board stressed that fall championships should only occur in the spring if local, state and federal health guidelines are met.
The NCAA has not yet set rules for the fall sports planning to hold a season in the spring. Athletes can resume voluntary workouts beginning Sept. 14.