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2020 NCAA Woman of the Year Eligibility and Nomination Process FAQ

The Committee on Women’s Athletics understands that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted student-athletes both in the cancellation of all remaining 2020 winter and spring championships and in modifications to the academic year by most member schools. For 2020 only, these factors will be taken into consideration for the NCAA Woman of the Year nomination cycle. As a reminder, the Woman of the Year Selection Committee and the Committee on Women’s Athletics will review and consider achievements, honors and special recognitions from throughout the nominee’s time as a student-athlete.

Should a student-athlete whose 2020 winter or spring championship was canceled be nominated for Woman of the Year?

Yes. Athletics scoring is based on the nominee’s athletics accomplishments from throughout her collegiate career. Even if a student-athlete’s 2020 winter or spring championship was canceled, she may be nominated for Woman of the Year, provided she otherwise satisfies the nomination criteria of competing and earning a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport at least one year. It is not a requirement that the nominee competed and earned a varsity letter in 2019-20.

Can a student-athlete whose 2019-20 academic year was changed to online instruction, pass/fail grading or other modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic be nominated for Woman of the Year?

Yes. Academics scoring is based on the nominee’s undergraduate cumulative GPA as determined by her institution. Even if a student-athlete’s 2019-20 academic year was modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she may be nominated for the Woman of the Year, provided she satisfies nomination criteria.

If a student-athlete would have earned her undergraduate degree by summer 2020 but did not because of modifications to the academic year and the COVID-19 pandemic, can she still be nominated?

Yes. If the nominee can demonstrate that she would have earned her undergraduate degree by summer 2020 if not for the COVID-19 pandemic, she can still be nominated for Woman of the Year. The nominee will have the opportunity to explain the situation in the nomination form.

Can a spring student-athlete who receives an extension waiver or a season-of-competition/participation waiver in her primary sport due to the 2020 spring regular season and championships being canceled be nominated for Woman of the Year?

Yes. A student-athlete who receives an extension waiver or a season of competition/participation waiver in her primary sport due to the cancellation of the 2020 spring regular season and championships may be nominated for the 2020 Woman of the Year, provided she otherwise satisfies nomination criteria.

Can a student-athlete who receives an extension waiver or a season-of-competition/participation waiver in her primary sport due to the cancellation of the 2020 spring regular season and championships be nominated for the 2021 Woman of the Year?

Yes. A student-athlete who receives an extension waiver or a season-of-participation waiver in her primary sport due to the cancellation of the 2020 spring regular season and championships may be nominated for the 2021 Woman of the Year, provided she was not a Top 30 honoree in 2020 and otherwise satisfies nomination criteria.

Can a student-athlete who meets eligibility requirements and is nominated for the 2020 Woman of the Year also be nominated for the 2021 Woman of the Year if she received an extension waiver and continues to meet eligibility requirements?

Yes. A student-athlete who receives an extension waiver or a season-of-competition/participation waiver due to cancellation of the 2020 spring championships and was nominated for the 2020 Woman of the Year, may be nominated again for the 2021 Woman of the Year, provided she was not a Top 30 honoree and otherwise satisfies nomination criteria.

Should a student-athlete describe in her personal statement how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted her?

The personal statement should describe how the nominee’s experiences as a scholar, an athlete and a leader on her campus or in her community have influenced her life and empowered her to have a positive impact on the world. While the personal statement is intended to address the nominee’s overall experience, a student-athlete may use a portion of her personal statement to describe how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted her.

Should a student-athlete note if the COVID-19 pandemic impacted her planned 2020 community service or campus activities?

Yes. If a student-athlete had committed to community service or campus activities that were subsequently canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this should be noted in the nomination form. However, the service and leadership section is intended to address the student-athlete’s overall collegiate experience.

Should a student-athlete note if the modified 2019-20 academic year impacted her 2020 academic achievements?

If specific academic honors, projects or special recognitions were not finalized due to the modified academic year, this should be noted within the academic achievements section of the nomination form. A student-athlete also may use a portion of her personal statement to describe how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted her academic achievement. However, the academic achievements section and personal statement are intended to address the student-athlete’s overall collegiate experience.

Should a student-athlete note if the cancellation of 2020 winter and spring championships impacted individual or team honors that were not finalized?

Yes. Any applicable individual or team honors that were in progress but not finalized due to the COVID-19 pandemic should be noted within the athletics achievements section of the nomination form (for example, named as one of three finalists for 2020 player of the year; player of the year honor was not awarded). Nominators and student-athletes should not speculate regarding awards or honors that may have been earned if the winter/spring championships had not been canceled.