NCAA Agrees To Grant Division I & III Spring Athletes Eligibility Relief

The NCAA has agreed to grant a year of eligibility relief to Division I  and III student-athletes who compete in spring sports after a mass cancellation by the organization on Thursday. Swimming & diving are considered winter sports and do not fall under the relief that the NCAA has announced so far; however, women’s water polo is a spring sport and would receive relief under the measures.

The news was first reported by Stadium’s Jeff Goodman on Twitter, and the NCAA has since released a formal statement from the Council Coordination Committee.

Division I statement:

“Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports. Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. Additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and weeks.”

Division III statement:


  • Men’s baseball
  • Women’s softball
  • Men’s and women’s golf
  • Men’s and women’s lacrosse teams
  • Women’s rowing
  • Men’s and women’s tennis
  • Men’s and women’s outdoor track and field
  • Men’s volleyball and women’s beach volleyball
  • Women’s water polo

Additionally, as noted by Goodman, the NCAA‘s Council Coordination Committee will also look into the issues for winter sport athletes, which includes swimming, who had their championship meets affected.

This comes after the NCAA cancelled all winter and spring championships, which essentially left all spring athletes without any competition at all for the season. This included the NCAA Basketball Tournament, March Madness, and the men’s and women’s Division I and Division III Swimming & Diving Championships. The Division II Championships were called off midway through the competition.


  • Men’s and women’s basketball
  • Men’s and women’s swimming (Division II cancelled midway through)
  • Men’s wrestling
  • Men’s and women’s ice hockey
  • Men’s and women’s gymnastics
  • Women’s bowling
  • Men’s and women’s fencing
  • Men’s, women’s and mixed rifle
  • Men’s, women’s and mixed skiing (cancelled midway through)
  • Men’s and women’s indoor track and field (Division II cancelled midway through)

This was an issue that students immediately took action on, launching a petition and a #redshirtcoronayear Instagram account as they look to regain a year of eligibility.

Now that this has happened quickly for the spring athletes, the focus now turns to the winter athletes and what will happen to them.

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach also reported that the NCAA sent a note to membership on Friday saying “it will be appropriate” to grant relief to student-athletes who have played in spring sports and the league will begin working on issues related to it.

In the series of tweets sent out by “Inside the NCAA“, the organization also put in place an immediate ban on in-person recruiting for Division I coaches. The dead period will last until at least April 15.

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4 years ago

Look forgive me for saying this. But if a senior swimmer is on his way to graduation for the year 2020, they have completed the college credentials that are necessary do you honestly think they would do another year of college just for swimming? What classes would they take they’ve completed all the necessary work? Just for that.

4 years ago

This is interesting logistically for spring sports as it actually creates a 4 year issue. All spring athletes granted additional year is as if all red shirted this year thus creating 5 classes for the next 4 years. As for winter, it would seem that “affected athletes’, meaning 330 D1 female swimmers, 270 D1 make swimmers should be provided something,much more difficult to apply but I think attempts will be made.

Swim Dad
4 years ago

I need to overcome this apocalyptic no swimming and no sports at all (though I did see Australia – New Zealand cricket was apparently still occurring Down Under and perhaps the Iditarod could stream live with a new ‘collar cam’). Can we start having some SwimSwam fun yet or is it too soon? Who is going to replace Salo? What about the Indiana revolving door…who’s replacing Jonty? How is Texas going to try to lure Braden to replace the possibly or possibly not retiring Eddie? Who is going to transfer from Florida? Any fun is appreciated. It’s raining and every pool is closed and there are no sports on TV. Please help.

4 years ago

Article did not even mention D2. What is story there?

While bummer about winter sports they did play most of season so I believe they are done. But if they were given addl year then it needs to be all players not just those with games left.

Reply to  Wilber
4 years ago

D2 is the same as the article, announced last night

Cash the dog
4 years ago

Love the idea of another year for the students that missed their championships but what about the kids coming in that need financial help? Given the roster limits and the in my opinion stupid Scholarship limits there is more to look at because many kids coming in won’t be able to do so if they don’t get the offer extended or schools will be over the limits.

If there is a 1 year waiver on roster size and scholarship limits to honor everyone that has one now or is committed with one everyone wins, but to just say give the kids there now more time may be unfortunate to the new kids.

4 years ago

So will the NCAA be ponying up the funds? Lots of freshman moving in. Time for a job seniors. Tough break, but get real. Life goes on ( hopefully).

Reply to  Reality
4 years ago

When it applies to your senior you may be singing a different tune.

Reply to  Reality
4 years ago

They don’t have to do anything. Just give the kids the option. They may have to pay their own freight if they want that opportunity. At least they have the option. Coming up with the funds is up to them. No scholarships to them…may not be best situation but it gives an option to them.

Reply to  Swimfor2028
4 years ago

The only thing that they were denied was the chance to swim NCAAs this year – unlike spring sports swimmers had their regular and conference champs. Giving them another year doesn’t guarantee them the one thing they missed out on – qualifying for NCAAs.

4 years ago

What happened to DII tho

4 years ago

The fact that details will be sorted out later is a bit of a problem. Seniors need to make decisions now about their plans for next year. If scholarship limits aren’t waived and the seniors will have to compete without scholarship or with a lessened scholarship, they need that info now.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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