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Division I makes initial rule decisions in wake of COVID-19

Membership encouraged to make decisions in the best interest of students, staff, coaches and community

Division I Council leadership has made several decisions related to the initial impact of the COVID-19 virus on the operation of Division I sports.

After canceling all winter and spring championships, the NCAA Board of Governors last week directed all three divisions to enact legislative modifications and waivers to provide relief to student-athletes and schools impacted by COVID-19. A summary of Division I actions to date follows.

The Council Coordination Committee on Friday agreed that NCAA member schools should make the best decisions for the health and safety of their coaches, staff, student-athletes, recruits and communities.

“The Council Coordination Committee emphasized the need to prioritize the mental health of student-athletes, coaches and administrators,” Pennsylvania Athletics Director and Council Chair Grace Calhoun wrote in an email to the Division I membership.

In addition, the Council leadership put in place an immediate ban on in-person recruiting for Division I coaches. Additionally, the group advised schools to suspend any official and unofficial visits to campus from prospective student-athletes.

This recruiting dead period will be in place until at least April 15. Telephone calls and written correspondence are allowed during dead periods.

Council leadership also agreed that eligibility relief is appropriate for all Division I student-athletes who participated in spring sports. Details of eligibility relief will be finalized later with input from the Division I membership. Additional issues with NCAA rules must be addressed, and appropriate governance bodies will work through those with members in the coming days and weeks.

After the Collegiate Commissioners’ Association decided  to suspend all National Letter of Intent (NLI) signings until at least April 15, 2020, the Council Coordination Committee also suspended all signing of institutional financial aid agreements by prospective student-athletes during the same time period.