NCAA Allows Extra Year of Eligibility for Winter Sport Athletes
Before the fall sports season started, the NCAA provided its athletes with a bit of insurance on the upcoming season by granting all athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the season's uncertainty amid the coronavirus pandemic.
And as they did for fall athletes, it seems like the plan will spread to the winter sport athletes as well.
The NCAA approved and supports the extra year of eligibility for winter athletes, as Brett McMurphy reported. Like it was in fall sports, this additional year will be for athletes that play and those that opt-out of the season. This could have a direct impact on both UTEP men's and women's basketball and give everyone on the roster an extra year of eligibility.
Imagine seeing Miner men's basketball forward and leading scorer Bryson Williams back for another season in 2021-22? The Fresno, Calif. native enters this year following an All C-USA first-team selection and could help propel the Miners forward up another season. The women's team could see their core group of sophomores, including Katia Gallegos and Avery Crouse, return next year as sophomores for their third season in the program.
It could also prove to be a recruiting/scholarship nightmare. Programs across the country might have to prioritize keeping a player for an extra season or signing a prospect. Similarly, the players themselves could end up graduating and leaving if they are seniors or also set their eyes on the transfer portal.
In addition, the NCAA Council approved a proposal to allow one-time transfers in all sports without sitting out a season and will vote on it in January for final approval, per McMurphy.