NCAA will not extend extra year of eligibility to college basketball players

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Seniors playing college basketball, who got to play most of their regular season but no conference tournaments nor the NCAA or NIT postseason tournaments, will not get to come back next season to finish off their college careers.

The NCAA announced it would not extend an extra year of eligibility to winter sports participants, which includes men’s and women’s basketball as well as ice hockey for both sexes. Athletes in spring sports, who lost their entire season (such as baseball and softball), will get that added year of eligibility. The Division I Council “members declined to extend eligibility for student-athletes in sports where all or much of their regular seasons were completed,” the NCAA said in a statement.

That decision didn’t sit well with some college hoops players.

If the NCAA had extended an extra year of eligibility it would have also had to up the scholarship limit for schools as freshmen had already committed to colleges for next year and a logjam would have been created.

This does not have a dramatic impact on the NBA Draft class because most of those chosen are underclassmen coming out early. There will be a few seniors taken — Cassius Winston of Michigan State is a first-rounder, for example — but mostly this hits players who are not NBA prospects and would have considered returning for another year of college ball.

Due to the coronavirus and the cancellation of the NCAA Tournament (plus spring sports), the NCAA Board of Governors voted last week to distribute $225 million to Division I schools in June, which is far less than the more than $600 million or more they expected to distribute.