- The Washington Times - Friday, March 13, 2020

An NCAA committee announced Friday all Division I spring-sport athletes will be given an extra year of eligibility after the coronavirus pandemic caused the governing body to cancel its winter and spring championship events.

“Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports,” the Division I Council Coordination Committee said in a statement. It is expected that the NCAA will agree to adopt the measure.

The list of NCAA spring sports includes men’s and women’s lacrosse, baseball, softball, golf, tennis, men’s volleyball, women’s rowing and outdoor track and field.

According to Yahoo Sports, the committee also plans to decide whether to enact the same relief for winter-sport athletes, chief among them basketball players, many of whom lost the chance to participate in March Madness.

The committee’s decision comes after some college basketball coaches, most notably UConn women’s coach Geno Auriemma, said they wanted the NCAA to give seniors affected by the cancellations another year of eligibility.

“My feeling is this: It’s an unprecedented event so you have to take unprecedented measures,” Auriemma told ESPN.

If the same decision were handed down in favor of winter-sport athletes, it would create the question of how many players like Maryland senior Anthony Cowan would return for a fifth season and a shot at postseason glory, as opposed to moving on and testing the NBA or leaving their playing careers behind.

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