Student athletes who lost a year of eligibility because COVID-19 shut down most collegiate sport programs could get a one-year extension.

Last spring, the NCAA told universities and student-athletes that they would receive extra time on their eligibility clocks and that includes athletes playing the winter sports. 

“What the NCAA said is that for the spring sports, because they’ve lost their season and now for fall sports, but also with the concern of the winter sports,” said Jamey Carver, assistant athletic director for athletics/compliance. “Disrupted seasons wouldn’t count against eligibility.” 

In a normal season, a student-athlete will start with five years to complete four seasons of eligibility. Sometimes, they may redshirt, or sit out a year, and gives them the extra fifth year.

The extra time that will be given to the athletes clocks are benefiting freshman the most.

“They could play those freshman and that season would not count against them,” he said. After this year, they have zero years of participation. 

At Morehead State University, all athletes received extra time and Carver said his gut feeling is if the pandemic disrupts for another year, there will be another extension. 

Zack Smith, right-handed pitcher for Morehead State’s baseball team, said that the NCAA giving the extra time is extremely helpful in exploring his options. 

“I’m glad I get another year because it just gives more options on what I want to do rather than what I have to do,” said Smith. “And I’m most excited to watch this squad we have compete. We have a really good group of boys this year.”