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NCAA Allows Schools to Grant Extra Year of Eligibility to Spring Athletes

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The NCAA’s Division I Council decided Monday to allow schools to grant an extra year of eligibility to student-athletes whose seasons were cut short due to the outbreak of COVID-19.

The NCAA will allow schools to extend student-athletes’ eligibility by one year. The NCAA will also allow Spring teams to carry more scholarship athletes than usual to account for returners and incoming recruits.

Schools will also be permitted to adjust student-athletes’ financial aid if their eligibility was going to run out in 2019-20. The NCAA also said it would pay for scholarships who take an extra year of eligibility using the Student Assistance Fund.

Because most Winter sports completed their regular seasons, an extra year of eligibility will not be awarded to those student-athletes.

Lastly, roster limits for baseball will be increased.

At West Virginia, there were two seniors on the baseball team, pitcher Dillon Meadows, infielder Kevin Brophy and outfielder/pitcher Braden Zarbnisky.

Zarbnisky, who would have run out of eligibility in 2018 if he had not been injured in the preseason and missed the whole year, has already teased at returning to WVU.

Meadows made four appearances on the mound this season, allowing no runs across seven innings. He struck out nine to four walks. For his career, Meadows has a 4.50 ERA in 40 innings across 31 appearances. He has two saves and 44 career strikeouts to 20 walks.

Brophy has appeared in 116 games as a Mountaineers, making 79 starts. He hit .246/.303/.344 this season with eight RBI, three doubles and a home run. In his career, he is a .227/.313/.411 hitter with 61 RBI and 16 home runs.

A two-way player, Zarbnisky hit .431/.486/.538 this season and did not allow a single run in 4.2 innings on the mound. He tied for the Big 12 lead in hits with 28 and finished tied for 12 in the nation. Zarbnisky has a .304/.400/.361 career slash line with 55 stolen bases, 49 RBI and 101 runs scored. He has a career 3.58 ERA in 108 career innings with 10 saves and 114 strikeouts.

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Cody spent the last two years getting his master's degree in journalism from WVU. He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 2018 with a degree in digital media production. He was born and raised in Mercer, Pennsylvania.

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