Update March 30, 2020 8:13 p.m.: UNC has released a statement from athletic director Bubba Cunningham on the NCAA's decision:
“We respect the NCAA Division I Council’s decision regarding the extension of eligibility for spring sport student-athletes, and we appreciate the flexibility given to each campus to make its own individual decisions. We will carefully consider all of our options at Carolina. We are waiting for guidance from the ACC, and we will consult with University leadership to determine what’s best for our current and future student-athletes, our 28-sport program, and our University.”
The NCAA's Division I Council voted to allow schools to give spring sport athletes an extra year of eligibility on Monday, according to a press release.
The remainder of all spring and winter sports seasons were canceled earlier this month due to the spread of COVID-19. Now, schools including North Carolina will have the option to grant its seniors another chance at competition.
The NCAA will adjust its financial aid rules to allow teams to have more players on scholarship, accounting for the influx of incoming recruits and the return of seniors who decide to compete another year. And "in a nod to the financial uncertainty faced by higher education," schools will be allowed to have last-year players return next season "without requiring that athletics aid be provided at the same level awarded for 2019-20."
Schools will also have the option use the NCAA's Student Assistance Fund to pay for scholarships for athletes who decide to return.
Winter sports were not included in the decision, according to the release, and Council members declined to provide the extra eligibility option to those athletes.
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