The NCAA is "unlikely" to give another year of eligibility to college basketball athletes whose seasons were cut short due to the cancelation of the NCAA Tournament, according to a report by CBS' Jon Rothstein.
This will not only affect the men's and women's basketball athletes, but all winter sports.
A move to grant an extra season of play would surely have been unexpected. Every men's and women's basketball team finished all regular-season competitions before the NCAA cancelled its championship events due to the coronavirus. Some teams had completely wrapped up their 2019-20 season by virtue of losing in their conference tournament.
Allowing players to return, some for a fifth season, to run it back for another chance at a conference or national championship would also create several logistical nightmares.
Granting eligibility wouldn't be just for a select few, it would have to be all or nothing. So those individuals on sub-.500 teams whose seasons were finished would get the extra year if any team projected to make the tournament also got the relief. To allow players to stay on a team, they would also have to lift the scholarship limit of 13 full scholarships on a Division I team to allow high school seniors to play for programs they already committed to. If they lifted the limit, by how much would they lift it and to what end? There would be ripple effects beyond just the upcoming 2020-21 year.
There are a lot of issues the NCAA already has to navigate during this rough climate. An extra year for players who essentially had finished their seasons just doesn't make sense.
The proposed idea became popular among fans after the NCAA announced eligibility relief was appropriate for all spring sports. However, there was nothing concrete from the NCAA on if any of those measures would be applied to college basketball.
Yes, it stinks for players and teams like Myles Powell and Seton Hall who don't get to see their senior seasons out. For programs like Dayton and San Diego State, who knows the next time, if ever, that they'll be in consideration for a No. 1 seed in the tournament.
There is no way to make all parties happy, but an extra season is not feasible. This year will just end up being a lost season for everyone.
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