NCAA reveals eligibility outcomes for student-athletes affected by COVID-19


Marshall Sunner

Wichita State junior Tommy Barnhouse pitches the ball during the game against Kansas State on Feb. 26 at Eck Stadium.

The NCAA announced their eligibility guidelines for the student athletes who saw their seasons get cut short due to the COVID-19 virus on Monday evening.

The organization came to a conclusion and has granted an extra year of eligibility to spring sport athletes due to the premature ending of their season from COVID-19. However, the NCAA has decided not to grant an extra year of eligibility for winter sports athletes, according to a report from The Athletic’s Shams Charania, which includes men’s basketball.

For WSU, the only athlete that will be affected by the decision, as for winter sports athletes, is Jaime Echenique. The senior center did not get to finish out senior season after the AAC Championships were canceled due to the virus. The three women’s basketball seniors would not have gotten an extra year of eligibility regardless as their season had already concluded.

WSU had senior athletes across the five spring sports of track and field, baseball, softball, golf (men’s and women’s), and tennis (men’s and women’s) who will be eligible to return next season if they please.

In a press release from the NCAA, they felt that it was the right decision to allow these athletes a proper ending to their collegiate careers.

“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.”

Originally, NCAA student-athletes are only allowed four seasons of play in a five-year window, but with this decision it allows for schools to self-apply for waivers to restore the shortened season.

The only spring sport with a roster limit is baseball and the NCAA has decided to increase the roster limit for those athletes affected by COVID-19.