Division 3 student-athletes will not be charged with participation for the 2020-21 season if their team can complete only 50 percent or less of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA announced Thursday.
The Division 3 Administrative Committee had approved a recommendation from the Committee on Student-Athlete Reinstatement to provide a blanket waiver in all sports that are unable to reach the 50 percent threshold, providing student-athletes with the option of extending their participation.
The committee noted that schools may be forced to shorten athletics seasons due to health and safety concerns, as well as related administrative concerns.
Amending the criteria for a season-of-participation waiver would ensure student-athletes have four meaningful seasons of participation opportunities. The proactive blanket waiver allows student-athletes to make informed enrollment decisions prior to the academic year.
Already this summer, NESCAC schools Bowdoin, Williams, Amherst and Wesleyan, as well as UMass Boston and four schools from the NEWMAC, announced that they would not be participating in fall sports.
Bowdoin was the first to announce that decision on June 25, noting, “Due to limits on campus attendance, sports in fall semester have been canceled with opportunity for the winter, spring, and possibly fall varsity athletes to participate and compete in some form after January 1.”
The NESCAC is regarded as the strongest and deepest lacrosse conference in Division 3, with practices slated to begin in mid-February.
Student-athletes whose teams complete more than 50 percent of the sport’s maximum contests/dates of competition during the 2020-21 season would not be eligible for the blanket waiver, regardless of whether the student-athlete competed in 50 percent or less of the season. However, individual waiver requests could be pursued on a case-by case basis.
The waiver applies to all sports during the 2020-21 academic year.