While colleges, universities, and student-athletes across the country continue to react to the ramifications of the sudden and unprecedented cancellation of the NCAA National Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championship, as well as cancellation of the collegiate spring sports competitive seasons for sports (including baseball, men’s and women’s lacrosse, softball, and men’s volleyball),

the NCAA has already reacted.

The NCAA has announced that it will consider and potentially adopt modifications, changes, or waivers to current NCAA legislation in response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on student-athletes.

Specifically, the NCAA Division I Council Coordination Committee has announced the following actions on behalf of Division I:

Eligibility Relief for Spring Sports Athletes – The Committee agreed that it will be appropriate to grant relief for the use of a season of competition for student-athletes who have participated in spring sports. In considering this, several issues would need to be addressed related to providing an additional season of competition, such as a waiver of current scholarship limitations, financial aid implications, and existing roster size limitations.

Division I Council Committee Chair Dr. Grace Calhoun, the athletic director at the University of Pennsylvania, also announced that the Committee will discuss similar eligibility considerations for winter sport student-athletes who were unable to participate in conference and NCAA championships. The Committee agreed that it will review and discuss all of these eligibility issues in a timely manner.

Cessation of Recruiting Activities – The NCAA announced the adoption of emergency legislation to establish a temporary recruiting dead period (as defined in NCAA Bylaw 13.02.5.5) in all NCAA Division I sports, effective immediately. The dead period will remain in effect at least until April 15 and includes official and unofficial visits, contacts, and evaluations.

To better support and assist our clients as they respond to this challenging public health issue, Jackson Lewis has established a dedicated COVID-19 Task Force that is continually assessing risks, preparing employee communications, and providing practical advice on the compliance issues flowing from Coronavirus workplace concerns and the travel restrictions and new facts we are continuing to learn about COVID-19.

Jackson Lewis’ Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group will continue to monitor the NCAA in its ongoing response to COVID-19. Please feel free to reach out to any member of the Collegiate and Professional Sports Practice Group with questions or assistance with an introduction to a Task Force member