In a recent meeting, the NCAA approved new flexibilities for delayed initial full-time college enrollment. This is what you need to know:
Considering COVID-19, the NCAA has approved that any student who has not yet enrolled full time in a university, and their delayed enrollment grace period ends prior to or during the 2020-21 academic year, may engage in organized competition during the 2020-21 academic year without any delayed enrollment conditions.
What is an “enrollment grace period”?
The NCAA gives you 5 years of eligibility to compete. The 5th year is a redshirt year. The NCAA gives you a one year grace period after graduating high school. Your eligibility clock begins to countdown one year after you graduate high school. For a sport like Division 1 tennis, however, this enrollment grace period is only for 6 months.
What is considered a “delayed” enrollment?
The time past your “grace” period: 6 months (D1 Tennis) or 12 months (most sports, including D2 Tennis) after your High School graduation date. There is no delay enrollment policy for Division 3 sports.
Under normal circumstances (Non-Covid) can I compete after my “grace” period?
No. You would be penalized with a year of eligibility for each year that you compete after your grace period.
Who does it benefit?
Prospective student-athletes (PSA) whose delayed enrollment grace period ends prior to or during the 2020-21 academic year.
Example No. 1: Expected May 2019 Graduation, Soccer
A men’s soccer PSA has a May 2019 expected date of high school graduation. Based on the delayed enrollment/organized competition rules, the PSA’s grace period ends Fall 2020.
Under the new COVID-19 relief for Divisions I and II, if the PSA delays initial full-time collegiate enrollment until 2021-22 and participates in organized competition during 2020-21, the PSA would not be charged a season of competition for organized competition occurring in 2020-21 or be required to sit out a year of competition at their chosen NCAA institution.
Example No. 2: Expected December 2019 Graduation, Tennis
A women’s tennis PSA has a December 2019 expected date of high school graduation. Based on the delayed enrollment/organized competition rules, the PSA’s grace period for Division I is January 2020 to Fall 2020 (six months). The PSA’s grace period for Division II is January 2020 to January 2021. Under the new policy for Divisions I and II, if the PSA delays initial full-time university enrollment until 2021-22 and participates in organized competition during 2020-21, the PSA would not be charged the delayed enrollment penalty for organized competition that occurred in 2020-21.
If you’re a PSA who might be affected by this new rule change or if you’re an upcoming high school graduate that might have more questions, feel free to reach out to us! We’re more than happy to help you navigate this turbulent time.
Contact us at (305) 554-1124 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: NCAA Eligibility Center