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NCAA grants all fall athletes extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – The NCAA announced plans to host scaled back Division I fall championships in Spring 2021 Friday after a meeting with the Division I Board of Directors.

In addition, the NCAA Board of Directors voted to grant a blanket waiver for all fall athletes. Whether athletes play in the fall, spring or opt out, this year will not count towards their eligibility.

The board came to the decision in hopes it will help Division I college athletes plan for their future.

“We want to provide opportunities for student-athletes whenever possible,” said acting board chair Denise Trauth, president of Texas State. “We understand it will be complicated and different, and we’re not certain how it will look. But we believe it’s important to try to give students that championship experience.”

This is similar to the waiver granted for spring sport senior athletes, who saw their final season cancelled due to COVID-19 which Wisconsin did not pursue.

When reached for comment, a University of Wisconsin spokesman said, “we are monitoring what is developing and will be communicating our plans directly to the student-athletes. Our decision-making will be guided by what we believe to be in the best interests of the student-athletes and our programs, while also taking into account the complex financial circumstances we are dealing with.”

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