Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports is reporting the NCAA Division I Council is recommending an additional year of eligibility for all fall sport athletes, regardless of how much they’re able to compete this season.
Put differently, this season would not “count” for any student athlete competing in a fall sport, whether that’s because the conference has decided to postpone or cancel its season, because the student athlete has made the personal choice to sit out and forgo the season due to health/COVID-19 concerns, or because the team or conference does not end up completing the entirety of the season. The rule would, in theory, apply equally to all Division-I student athletes for fall sports scheduled for 2020 – men’s cross country, women’s cross country, field hockey, football, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, volleyball and men’s water polo.
The NCAA Board of Governors will put the recommendation to a vote this Friday.
Sources: The NCAA Division I Council decided today that fall sport student-athletes can compete in any amount of competitions this year and it will not count as a season of eligibility. This still needs to be approved by NCAA Board of Governors on Friday.
— Pete Thamel (@PeteThamel) August 19, 2020
For the Kentucky football team, the ruling would mean the potential for another year with Terry Wilson at the helm, along with the rest of the senior class. Additionally, Mark Stoops and his staff would have the chance to utilize and experiment with some of the program’s younger, up-and-coming talents throughout the season without jeopardizing a year of their eligibility. If passed, this decision would essentially eliminate the four-game redshirt rule this year. As the provision is currently being presented, it seems pointless for a team to “redshirt” a player to preserve his eligibility this season since it wouldn’t count against him anyway.
The decision would also certainly complicate things in terms of balancing rosters into 2021 and the years that follow, and the NCAA would practically have to adjust student-athlete scholarship limitations in order to accommodate this “extra” class of student athletes. Some situations would likely take care of themselves – not every athlete would choose to come back for an additional year, of course. Then, there are the early graduates, the NFL Draft enrollees and the transfers or team dismissals that typically happen at every school each year.
Things could really get crazy if the NCAA passes the one-time transfer eligibility ruling on top of all of this next year.
Bring on the chaos, right?