NCAA approves extra year of eligibility for fall sport DI athletes

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By Austin Bechtold, Assistant Sports Editor

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors voted on August 21 to approve a waiver to grant an extra year of eligibility for fall sport athletes.

The extra year will go into effect regardless of whether fall sports are able to resume competition in the spring. Athletes will have the option to receive a 5th or possibly 6th year, if previously redshirted, of potential eligibility.

All Robert Morris fall sports have been postponed to the spring, delaying RMU’s debut as the 12th member of the Horizon League.

The league originally pushed back a decision on the fate of conference play to October 1, before coming to the conclusion to delay fall athletics on August 13.

This affects men’s and women’s soccer, golf, cross country, and volleyball–who are all represented in the Horizon League–as well as rowing in the MEAC, and football in the Big South Conference.

The board also ruled that schools are forbidden from revoking or reducing scholarships from athletes if they choose not to participate in athletic contests due to COVID-19 concerns.

Robert Morris will look towards participating in winter sports (men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s hockey), before shifting focus to both fall sports and the usual spring sports slate in 2021.