The NCAA Board of Directors has approved a blanket waiver for additional eligibility for fall sports athletes due to the uncertainty regarding the season thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governing body announced on Friday.
The plan, as put forward by the Division I Council, will allow all players to retain a season of eligibility, regardless of whether their school plays or does not play and whether the individual players play or do not play.
Any player that would have exhausted their five-year eligibility clock will also see it extended, and players that would have exhausted their eligibility will not count toward the scholarship limit moving forward.
So players that are seniors this fall will all be eligible again for 2021, regardless of how much they play, and they will not count against the team’s 85-man scholarship limit, so their returning will not impact the ability of the incoming Class of 2021 to earn a scholarship.
Just because the players are guaranteed eligibility does not mean their teams will have to allow them to return. When a similar arrangement was made for 2020 spring sports athletes that missed their season, several schools elected to not renew aid for their seniors.
WVU’s seniors would be most impacted by the ruling. That group includes cornerback Alonzo Addae, offensive lineman Chase Behrndt, linebacker Charlie Benton, safety Dante Bonamico, offensive lineman Michael Brown, offensive lineman Zach Davis, running back Lorenzo Dorr, safety Osman Kamara, quarterback Austin Kendall, safety Sean Mahone, safety Jake Long, long snapper Kyle Poland, defensive lineman Jeffery Pooler, Jr., wide receiver T.J. Simmons, kicker Evan Staley, defensive lineman Darius Stills, kicker/punter Tyler Sumpter, linebacker Dylan Tonkery, wide receiver Keion Wakefield and safety Scottie Young.
A version of this story originally appeared at our partner site, Pittsburgh Sports Now.