NCAA denies request to drop Division I sport minimumFILE - In this March 12, 2020, file photo, The national office of the NCAA in Indianapolis is viewed. The NCAA will permit spring sport athletes _ such as baseball, softball and lacrosse players _ who had their seasons shortened by the coronavirus outbreak to have an additional year of eligibility. The NCAA Division I Council voted Monday, March 30, 2020, to give spring sport athletes regardless of their year in school a way to get back the season they lost, but did not guarantee financial aid to the current crop of seniors if they return to play next year. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)
The NCAA Division I Council denied a request to temporarily waive the minimum number of sports required to be a Division I member and delayed a decision on allowing all college athletes to be immediately eligible one time after transferring.
a request made recently
for up to four years would be considered in the coming weeks. But a blanket waiver permitting schools to drop below the minimum 16 sports would only be considered on a case-by-case basis.
The request was made with schools bracing for tough times as the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic begins to take a toll athletic departments.
"Higher education is facing unique challenges, and the Division I leadership believes it’s appropriate to examine areas in which rules can be relaxed or amended to provide flexibility for schools and conferences,” said Council chairwoman Grace Calhoun, the athletic director at Pennsylvania. “We will prioritize student-athlete well-being and opportunities balanced with reducing costs associated with administering college sports, but a blanket waiver of sport sponsorship requirements is not in keeping with our values and will not be considered.”
to allow all athletes to transfer one-time in four years without sitting out a season. Some sports already have a one-time transfer exception, but not football, men's and women's basketball, hockey and baseball.
The waiver change could have gone into effect this year, but the council cited the uncertainty related to the COVID-19 outbreak for delaying a vote.
The council also recommended the Division I Board of Directors lift the current moratorium on transfer legislation so the council could vote on the concept of a one-time exception for all transfers in January 2021.