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NCAA DI Council votes in favor of additional year of eligibility for winter athletes

The NCAA Division I Council has officially voted in favor of granting an additional year of eligibility for athletes participating in winter sports during the 2020-21 season.

According to college basketball insider Jeff Goodman, the DI Council voted in favor of the blanket waiver allowing athletes to retain their year of eligibility this winter whether they decide to play or not.

“D-1 Council has voted in favor of giving additional year of eligibility to winter athletes,” Goodman reported. “Won’t be official until close of tomorrow’s meeting since it could still be brought back for reconsideration.”

With this news, athletes – including college basketball players – will be able to play the entire season without using a year of eligibility. This means players like Jacob Toppin, who originally planned on sitting out a year to develop his game and body before returning to the floor in 2021-22, can suit up and help the team if need be while maintaining his original timeline. This is, of course, if the NCAA grants him a waiver for immediate eligibility.

In even bigger news, this news is also expected to clear the SEC’s hand to clear Olivier Sarr for the upcoming 2020-21 season. While the NCAA has approved Sarr’s waiver for immediate eligibility, SEC bylaw 14.1.15 states that student-athletes with less than two years of eligibility remaining must fulfill a residence requirement of one full academic year.

“A student-athlete who, upon enrollment at the certifying institution, has less than two years of eligibility remaining shall not be eligible for intercollegiate competition at a member institution until the student has fulfilled a residence requirement of one full academic year (two full semesters) at the certifying institution,” the official bylaw states.

With a blanket waiver, Sarr would – by rule – have two more years of eligibility remaining at Kentucky, thus taking out the need for one full academic year of residence at the certifying institution.

The NCAA has already signed off on Sarr. Now, the SEC has no reason not to do the same.

Article written by Jack Pilgrim

Follow me on Twitter: @JackPilgrimKSR

9 Comments for NCAA DI Council votes in favor of additional year of eligibility for winter athletes

  1. IrishCat
    7:09 pm October 13, 2020 Permalink

    Free Olivier?!?

  2. CJKAssassin123
    7:13 pm October 13, 2020 Permalink

    Potentially huge News.

  3. mashman 93
    7:23 pm October 13, 2020 Permalink

    Now we’re cooking!!!! GO BIG BLUE!!!!

  4. Han
    8:20 pm October 13, 2020 Permalink

    Also means Mintz could play two for us if he and Cal want.

  5. tdub
    8:33 pm October 13, 2020 Permalink

    Let’s go!

  6. runningunnin.454
    8:53 pm October 13, 2020 Permalink

    Yeah well, that’s an unreasonable, illogical rule. And, we’re still dealing with the people that have this dumb rule, so I’ll believe Sarr gets to play when I see him in a game.
    Do other conferences have this rule? I can’t imagine that they do.

    • Megan
      12:10 pm October 14, 2020 Permalink

      If the rule is unreasonable and illogical, why is it a rule? Obviously, the member schools of the Southeastern Conference didn’t think it was unreasonable and illogical. They thought it made sense. They thought it was a good idea, so much so they agreed to adopt it. It’s fair to conclude that the rule is illogical to you, that you don’t understand why it’s a rule. That’s more a reflection on you than it is the rule.

      Think, now. Why would an athletic program not want to invest in the development of a player for three years only to have him bolt to another school to become an immediate impact player? And why would schools not want to see a member of their conference take immediate advantage of such an experienced player?

      No, there’s a reason for the rule. It doesn’t make a lot of sense academically because you should trust a more experienced student-athlete to transfer with less academic disruption. But competitively, it does make sense to preserve some degree of continuity. Don’t you agree?

    • UKBigBlueForever
      12:59 pm October 14, 2020 Permalink

      Megan, you are always disagreeing with everyone. You are entitled to that, but you don’t have to write a story in your rebuttal. It is a rule but it definitely is outdated and needs to be voted on and removed.

  7. Ez21
    9:56 am October 14, 2020 Permalink

    So does this mean that Nate Sestina can come back if he wants to?