After the NCAA’s confusing decision to grant spring sport athletes an additional year of eligibility while simultaneously not expanding rosters to make room for incoming freshman next year, the NCAA Division I Council voted this afternoon to avoid that issue. All fall athletes — whether they play no games, one game, or an entire season — will receive an extra year of eligibility. In addition, roster caps will be increased through the 2021-2022 school year.
The roster cap helps seniors, but does pose a logjam of sorts long-term for impacts to playing time moving forward. Do you give the junior who may leave for the draft more reps to help him out as well, or stick with experience? Obviously there is no easy answer here and there are always opportunity costs to any decision, but overall the extra year of eligibility for players was the right thing to do.
The added benefit here as well is now players do not need to worry about wasting a year of eligibility on what may end up being an aborted season. However, what was not answered is how early enrollees may be impacted. This is especially important for the Big Ten to get an answer on given a potential spring football season.
The NCAA Division I Council also recently approved a 12-hour weekly practice and training schedule for schools that are not competing this fall. This includes strength and conditioning, team meetings and up to five hours of on-the-field activities with helmets and no pads. This is the model Michigan State will operate under until at least Oct. 4.