Nebraska spring sport student-athletes will have the option of a extra year of eligibility, that according to a decision by the Division 1 Council Monday.
The Council voted to “allow schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.” Members also adjusted financial aid rules, allowing teams to carry beyond the scholarship limit.
Under the decision schools are not required to provide athletics aid to returning student-athletes that would have exhausted their eligibility during the 2019-20 season. This means schools can pay anywhere between all or none of the scholarship amount athletes had in what would have been the final year of their eligibility.
“The Council’s decision gives individual schools the flexibility to make decisions at a campus level,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Penn. “The Board of Governors encouraged conferences and schools to take action in the best interest of student-athletes and their communities, and now schools have the opportunity to do that.”
Schools will have the ability to draw from the NCAA’s Student Assistance Fund to pay for scholarships for students returning for additional eligibility in 2020-21.
According to the NCAA statement, winter sports were not included in the decision and the Council “declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where all or much of their regular seasons were completed.”
Over the weekend, the Autonomy Conferences (ACC, Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12, SEC) representatives on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council recommended all Division I student-athletes that did not finish their championship season “be given the opportunity to pursue another year of eligibility” and that returning seniors should have their scholarships renewed with those scholarships not counted against financial aid limits.
The group also recommended support for student housing and food saying, “If the NCAA focuses merely on eligibility relief and does not aid those who are unsafe and unable to pay for food and shelter, then we have already failed our peers as collegiate athlete leaders.”
The 40 Husker spring championship senior student-athletes that will have the option to return for another year according to Monday’s vote are below. Beach Volleyball does not play for a championship where Lauren Stivrins would be the only senior with the option to return.
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field
Jordan De Spong
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field