Student-athlete committee wants additional NCAA eligibility

Today is the day. The NCAA will vote Monday, March 30 whether college athletes in winter and spring sports will be given an additional year of eligibility. Winter sports championships were canceled, and spring sports teams had the majority of their entire seasons canceled.

This morning, Nicole Auerbach of The Athletic tweeted out a statement from the Division 1 NCAA Student-Athletic Advisory Committee (SAAC, haha) before the vote takes place. The committee is made up of one student-athlete from all 32 conferences Division 1, but it looks like only representatives from the ACC, Pac-12, Big 10, Big 12 and SEC were a part of this.

Here’s the heading of the second point:

“All athletes who did not have the opportunity to complete their championship season should be given the opportunity to pursue an extra year of eligibility.”

It says they want an additional year of eligibility for all spring sports athletes as well as athletes in winter sports, whose teams qualified for the postseason and were unable to complete the entirety of their season.

But how do we determine which teams qualified for the postseason?

For college basketball, this would mean it all depends on when your conference tournament was scheduled. The Summit League held its full conference tournament, and North Dakota State was the winner in a one-bid league. On the other hand, the SWAC is a one-bid league and their tournament started but didn’t finish. Are only select teams from specific conferences allowed to play an additional season? That doesn’t seem fair.

And we have no idea what the selection committee was going to do because no bracket was released. Also does postseason include the smaller tournaments like the NIT, CBI or CIT? So many questions from that statement.

We wrote about this on Deceptive Speed last week, but another year of eligibility for winter athletes mostly benefits the seniors and nobody else. Assuming everybody gets an additional season, many college basketball players will never get to play as seniors because that likely means they have to stay in college for 6 years if they redshirted at any point.

Additionally, this would lead to so many decommitments from recruits and an even crazier transfer market. It changes the course of college careers for so many people all because a few players per team missed out on a game or two on average. Many even finished their senior seasons.

Teams and players have many different circumstances and it’s fun to think about Cassius Winston, Markus Howard or Udoka Azubuike playing one more year of college hoops, but it’s time to move on and welcome in the new stars of college basketball.