NCAA to grant 'eligibility relief' to spring student-athletes amid coronavirus cancellation


The CMU baseball team runs to the dugout on March 26 at Theunissen Stadium.

Note: This story has been updated to include a quote from Central Michigan Athletic Director Michael Alford.

Central Michigan senior student-athletes, and other student-athletes across the country, have been granted one more year of eligibility from the NCAA. 

The governing body announced Friday it would grant eligibility relief for spring athletes — baseball, softball, men's and women's lacrosse and outdoor track and field among others — whose seasons were cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

A statement from the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee tweeted on Friday said it  eligibity relief is appropriate. 

"Council leadership agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports," the statement read. "Details of eligibility relief will be finalized at a later time. Additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those in the coming days and weeks."

On Thursday, the NCAA canceled all winter and spring championships, including the men's and women's basketball tournaments and men's and women's College World Series. 

Additionally, the Mid-American Conference announced all athletic competitions were canceled for the rest of the academic year due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Jeff Goodman, a basketball analyst for Stadium, reported extended eligibility for student-athletes who competed in winter sports has not yet been determined but will be discussed by the Coordination Committee. 

CMU Athletic Director Michael Alford said in a statement he supports the decision. 

"Terrific news for spring sport student-athletes," Alford said. "I know there are a lot of details to still work on by the Committee but this was the right decision. These individuals have prepared and trained for their season and to have it taken away by unprecedented occurrences has been a tough message to deliver. I also know the NCAA is working hard to evaluate the effects of this situation on winter sport student-athletes." 

The NCAA, along with the other major sport entities around the world, have been affected by the coronavirus by suspending play indefinitely or canceling events.  

This is a developing story, stay with CM Life for further updates.