Last Friday, the NCAA announced that all fall athletes will receive eligibility relief amidst COVID-19. While this sounds like a free ticket to an extra season of eligibility, there are still important sub points to the statement that athletes should be aware of moving forward. Here are three things current college athletes who play a fall sport need to know:
1.) The NCAA has promised that all fall athletes can receive extra eligibility. The NCAA’s most recent announcement on athlete eligibility extends to every athlete competing in a fall sport, regardless of whether or not he or she is competing this year. For example, although some conferences are electing to compete this fall (such as the Big 12, SEC, ACC, and many mid-major conferences who have not postponed their seasons), those athletes will still receive an extra year of eligibility, along with athletes who fall under conferences that have chosen to cancel or postpone their seasons. All fall athletes will receive eligibility relief.
2.) The NCAA is offering a blanket eligibility waiver, which is different from what the Association did this past March when it merely offered extra eligibility to spring sport athletes at the discretion of their school. In essence, that announcement gave schools the right to approve or deny eligibility to spring athletes, and not all universities were generous with their extra freedom—shortly after that announcement, Wisconsin athletic director, Barry Alvarez, denied UW athletes extra eligibility, stating on a local radio show that senior athletes should “graduate and move on with your life.” It appears that the NCAA’s latest mandate won’t allow schools to do that, but athletes still need to talk to their coaches about extra eligibility, because…
3.) There is no guarantee that fall athletes will receive additional scholarship funding if they choose to pursue an extra season of competition. The NCAA might have temporarily lifted roster limits, but athletic departments will likely be tightening their belts in the near future. This means that even if fall athletes receive extra eligibility, their schools do not have to offer funding for their additional year, particularly if an athlete is on a one-year, renewable scholarship. In those situations, what a coach might do is let an athlete take an extra season of eligibility without scholarship funding, especially if that coach has pledged a scholarship to an up-and-coming freshman. It’s also possible that coaches will offer scholarship extensions to athletes who opt for an extra season—it’s just unlikely, given the potential financial fallout in wake of the coronavirus.
As usual, collegiate athletics are in flux thanks to the current pandemic, and NCAA news is always subject to change, especially looking forward to fall and spring sports. For now, it’s important for fall athletes to remember that extra eligibility does not guarantee extra funding, and they must discuss these logistics with their coaches to know what their extra season will look like financially.
When doing research in the recruiting process for my daughter I came across the LRT Sports website. I was immediately intrigued as this was another dimension of the recruiting process that many people don't even consider. My daughter and I could "short list" schools based on the education she was looking for, as well as the opportunity to play her sport. LRT Sports not only gave us pertinent information into the recruiting process with different interviews of coaches and players, it also gave us insight into current and/or former players' opinions on the coach of that school in her sport. We could use this information to re-prioritize my daughters list of schools based on this feedback. I have many friends that are, or will be, going through this process shortly and I highly recommend using LRT Sports as part of anyone's recruiting process.
The college process presents a myriad of challenges. Factor in athletics and it becomes even more daunting. Now, add the fact that you have zero experience with sports. What is a the mother of a college bound student-athlete to do? LRT Sports has truly lived up to its promise. It has kept "the college recruiting process honest and easy by providing first hand information about coaches, schools and the recruiting process." Their interviews with current students, coaches, and professional athletes have provided realistic guidance. I am much more informed because of LRT Sports! The coach ratings are the most helpful. LRT Sports interviews allow us to hear from students as to how the adults are impacting not only their athletic experience but also how they are helping to shape their adult self.
The C.A.L.C. was thrilled to have Keirsten Sires come and speak to us on multiple topics relevant to high school athletics today, including recruiting. Keirsten reached all of our students and left them with great strategies that will not only help on the fields, courts, and mats, but also in the game of recruiting. She was a true professional and delivered a wonderful message.
Now that the recruiting process and the related stress is over, I wanted to thank you for your guidance. You did so much more than we had expected. Once you started the process by matching the best academic schools first, not the best sport programs, I knew you were the one. The way you laid out a timeline of contacting coaches, visits, and camps completely took any guesswork out of the plan for us. All of the student athletes that you put us in touch with gave us a look from the inside, and made us more comfortable knowing what was coming. Finally, using your website as a resource for knowing what to expect from different coaches based on former recruit reviews gave my son confidence before our meetings. There is no way we could have figured this out on our own, you really put us in a great position when decision time came.
I think hearing from other athletes is very beneficial. To be able to learn from people’s mistakes, and to be able to have access to those voices is really helpful; especially voices that have been there and done that. It’s very important for people to have access to information that could benefit them, and in this case there are many voices that can help the next wave of athletes.
If you have something that’s going to spell [the recruiting process] out for you… it’s so valuable. I think what everyone at LRT Sports is doing to spread the word and help advocate and educate athletes on the recruitment process is incredible.
Without question would have used LRT Sports. It would have probably been one of the most valuable tools that I could have had. If you want to know what these coaches are really like then I think this is the best tool out there. I’m really glad you are allowing recruits to have a resource like this moving forward.