NCAA votes to award spring athletes another season of eligibility

WSU junior and Northmont High School graduate Zach Weatherford celebrates with teammates after the Raiders beat UIC 10-1 in the Horizon League tournament at Nischwitz Stadium this past season. MATT HELTON / CONTRIBUTED
WSU junior and Northmont High School graduate Zach Weatherford celebrates with teammates after the Raiders beat UIC 10-1 in the Horizon League tournament at Nischwitz Stadium this past season. MATT HELTON / CONTRIBUTED

The NCAA voted Monday to award another year of eligibility to spring sports athletes, while deciding not to do the same for winter sports athletes who saw their seasons cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

"This decision is truly positive for the spring sport student-athletes who lost a valuable season,” Atlantic 10 Conference Commissioner Bernadette McGlade said in a statement. “However it is also bittersweet, given the public health crisis which we are dealing with, and each of us must continue to give our support and help to all those experiencing pain and suffering in the United States and internationally."

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The decision means even fifth-year seniors who would have ended their college careers this spring can return next spring to compete. Local college baseball and softball teams had played a portion of their seasons when the spring season was cancelled earlier this month. Those athletes will get those seasons of eligibility back.

The NCAA will adjust financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more athletes on scholarship next spring.

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