The Stanford Cardinal winter student-athletes received a big boost ahead of their athletic calendars when the NCAA Division I Council voted to approve a free year of eligibility for the winter term athletes in 2020-21.
The fall and spring term athletes received the same waiver ahead of their seasons, or canceled seasons for those spring student-athletes, and now the winter athletes don’t have that hanging over their head.
The Council voted to approve that, as well as a new bowl game ruling that allows all teams to be eligible for bowl games, this week, stating they wanted to give freedom to those student-athletes to make their own right decisions.
“We felt it was important to make this decision now so student-athletes had the peace of mind to go into this season and compete,” Council Chair Grace Calhoun told ESPN on Wednesday. “They know they can regain that eligibility and have their clock automatically extended, so they’re not taking that chance on the front end if they choose to compete.”
The Council also pushed to the head two other rulings and hope to get resolution on new rulings for the Name, Image, Likeness ruling for 2021 as well as a one-time transfer rule that would allow athletes to transfer without sitting out a year for all sports.
Those rulings are to come but the main thing here is that the winter student-athletes are now free to play their sports and (virtually) attend their classes without worrying about eligibility in what can only be described as an unprecedented season, playing their sports through a global pandemic.