Junior colleges follow NCAA lead; won't dock eligibility this season

Posted at 12:07 PM, Oct 23, 2020

(Editor's note: NJCAA release)

Charlotte, N.C. – The NJCAA Board of Regents met Thursday to discuss NJCAA student-athlete eligibility for the 2020-21 academic year. Following Thursday's NJCC Board of Regents’ vote, no 2020-21 NJCAA sport seasons (fall, winter, spring) will count towards student-athlete eligibility. The eligibility relief is provided to all NJCAA student-athletes regardless of sport season participation in the 2020-21 academic year.

"The Board of Regents feels this decision is best for the success and well-being of our student-athletes and member colleges at this time," stated Dr. Christopher Parker, NJCAA President & CEO. "There is no right answer to this challenge and situation, but as an association, we are going to support the eligibility of all our student-athletes to help them succeed in their academic and athletic careers.”

Returning student-athletes will be considered “non-counters” for letter of intent and NJCAA eligibility purposes. The NJCAA Eligibility Committee will continue to review and evaluate the impact of the blanket waiver on eligibility requirements.

“The uncertainty surrounding the pandemic has put collegiate sports in a very challenging situation,” stated Troy Tucker, NJCAA Eligibility Committee Chair. “Today’s decision by the Board of Regents to grant a blanket year of participation waiver provides our institutions and student-athletes with the ability to choose to participate this academic year without the fear of using a year of eligibility for a potentially shortened or interrupted season.”

Current eligibility and academic requirements will still apply in order for student-athletes to compete in 2020-21 regular and postseason competition. The eligibility committee will continue to review the participation requirements for the 2021-22 academic year and reassess for adoption and approval by the NJCAA Board of Regents.