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Bronco

I need some clarification on the NCAA policy

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I haven't read much on this - which is why I am asking the question here - but for those 2020 NCAA winter sports SENIORS are they now officially DONE?

And for the Seniors on the Spring sports teams is there going to be an allowance or adjustment for the number of athletes on scholarship in those Spring sports?  I thought I read somewhere that those 2020 Seniors would have to pay their own way if they wish to come back for 2021 (which is completely asinine - but that IS the NCAA for sure).

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So if I understand this correctly and using the Boise State softball team as an example (as I am familiar with that) then their seven 2020 Seniors can return for another year of NCAA eligibility IF they choose to do so (at least three of them I'm fairly sure won't).  But just for the sake of discussion let's assume all seven of them choose to return for another year of NCAA eligibility.   The Boise State softball team had 21 players on their roster for 2020.

The problem is Boise State has also signed 8 new recruits for their softball team for 2021.   If all seven 2020 Seniors return for 2021 that would put the Boise State softball team roster total at 29 players.   And the NCAA scholarship limit for Softball is 12 scholarships (which can be divided much like wrestling).  So how can one divide 12 scholarships between 29 players?  That equates to about 40% of a scholarship per player.  And obviously some players will be getting more and some will be getting less - depending on their importance to the team.  In the case of the seven Boise State 2020 Seniors three of them were starting position players and two of them were two of the top three pitchers on the team.  Also NONE of the seven had utilized their redshirt year.  So basically this would mean that 2020 counts as their redshirt year?

This article mentioned the following:  "Members also adjusted financial aid rules to allow teams to carry more members on scholarship to account for incoming recruits and student-athletes who had been in their last year of eligibility who decide to stay."  But it doesn't go into specifics on exactly what that means.   Anyone have any FACTS on what is meant by this?

Edited by Bronco
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I listened to a podcast recently on this and they said schools are allowed to "adjust the scholarship numbers" as you stated above from the article. They went on to say that the school is responsible for covering the cost of the additional scholarships and that although a senior may have another year, unless the school can figure out how to cover their scholarship they may have to cover their costs on their own dime. So if all 7 of the senior players want to return,  BSU can go above the scholarship limit, however they have to figure out how to cover those scholarships. If they can't, the player will have to decide if they want to play without a scholarship. This was approximately 2 weeks ago I listened to this. 

From NY Times: 

But whether an athlete is able to return will largely depend on the decisions by universities, which will determine how much scholarship aid to offer and whether to apply for an individual to receive an N.C.A.A. waiver allowing an additional season.

For example, a college could allow an athlete’s eligibility to be restored on the condition that the athlete pay some or all of the cost of attendance.

From USA Today: "I do believe it’s the right thing to talk about it and see what the possibilities are," said Eastern Washington athletics director Lynn Hickey, whose program has five spring sports teams and in 2018-19 provided less than the Division I-maximum number of scholarships in all of them. “In our situation, how do we come up with the funds for the extra scholarships that we weren’t counting on? Quite honestly, I don’t know how we would pay for it. I’m being very honest and transparent. I don’t know.”

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Okay, thanks for that info.  Basically that is saying they can go above the scholarship limit but they will have to pay the cost - which is no different than any other year - other than the fact that they will be paying for a larger total of scholarships than they have previously.

I'm curious about the fact that all seven of the 2020 Boise State Softball Seniors have NOT utilized their redshirt year (which is pretty common in Softball) and how that affects all of this.  As I see it they really are not getting an additional year of eligibility as they have really only played 3 years.   And the NCAA gives all student athletes 5 years to play four.

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Yep that is correct. The tricky part is what teams/schools can afford to bring them back. Competitive balance could be skewed next year based on who can afford to bring back the most. 
I guess you could look at it like they used their redshirt this year by playing in limited games. Not sure how softball works compared to footballl. Or they redshirt next year then play their last season in 21-22. By then they are in year 2 of grad school. Lots of details and situations. 

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Fact is none of these 2020 Seniors were planning on being back for the 2021 season. I'm sure they all had plans in place as to what they would be doing after this spring.  I would imagine most of them will continue on with their plans.  Could some of them opt to come back?  Sure?  But I'd guess the lion's share will not.  Only time will tell if ANY of them will be back for 2021.

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1 hour ago, Bronco said:

I'm curious about the fact that all seven of the 2020 Boise State Softball Seniors have NOT utilized their redshirt year (which is pretty common in Softball) and how that affects all of this.  As I see it they really are not getting an additional year of eligibility as they have really only played 3 years.   And the NCAA gives all student athletes 5 years to play four.

Well yeah, the fact that they “really only played 3 years” is pretty much the reason why all spring athletes were given another year of eligibility...

As mentioned above, in theory some of them could redshirt next year if maybe the team was able to cover some of the additional scholarships but not all.

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1 hour ago, Bronco said:

Fact is none of these 2020 Seniors were planning on being back for the 2021 season. I'm sure they all had plans in place as to what they would be doing after this spring.  I would imagine most of them will continue on with their plans.  Could some of them opt to come back?  Sure?  But I'd guess the lion's share will not.  Only time will tell if ANY of them will be back for 2021.

For example, Pletcher just signed on to coach at Pitt as the volunteer assistant. 

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