NCAA annouces changes to initial-eligibility standards in response to COVID-19 pandemic

Published on Friday, 17 April 2020 15:36


At this point, there is not an aspect of anyone’s life, no matter how specific, that has not been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is doing their best to readjust to what is becoming the new normal and prepare for the long-term effects of the outbreak, for when life resumes as it was two months ago.

For many high school seniors, one of the tasks at hand is to navigate how all of this may impact the collegiate athletic careers they are hoping to start in the upcoming school year. In Connecticut, the CIAC is communicating with the NCAA eligibility center about how the changes to school and high school sports will affect incoming freshman's initial eligibility.

Normally, the NCAA mandates that any incoming Division I or II athlete that wants to play, practice and receive their scholarship must graduate from high school, receive a qualifying score on the SAT or ACT and complete 16 core courses. Additionally for Division I athletes, at least 10 of their core courses must be completed in their first three years of high school and seven of the 10 must be English, math and science courses. And they must have a 2.3 grade point average or better in their core courses.

With school teaching remotely and augmenting many parts of their curriculums to do so, the NCAA is doing its best to keep as many of its own eligibility standards in place as possible, but have made some changes. Student-athletes must still have 10 core courses completed prior to the start of their senior year, but no longer need to complete 16 core courses before graduating.

On an athlete’s NCAA Eligibility Center account, it will say they have received a “COVID-19 Automatic Waiver,” which grants them eligibility for their freshman season. With the prospect of actual graduation events hanging in the balance, student-athletes are not required to provide proof of graduation, but still need to submit a final transcript once available.

The NCAA said it will not alter the way it reviews courses for classes that were moved online and are encouraging students to use whatever academic resources they have at their disposal.

Posted in The Bristol Press, General Sports on Friday, 17 April 2020 15:36. Updated: Friday, 17 April 2020 15:39.