After the coronavirus cut the spring sports’ seasons short, the NCAA voted on March 30 to allow its member institutions to make the decision to grant seniors an extra year of eligibility.
Texas A&M will provide the extra year for over 20 of its spring sport seniors, Athletic Director Ross Bjork announced on Friday.
“We were a proponent of providing as much flexibility as possible for our coaches to work with the senior class of student-athletes that were not able to achieve their goals and dreams of competing during their final year of eligibility because of this pandemic,” Bjork said in a statement released by the university. “Recognizing that each situation would vary for every student-athlete, I believe we have developed a great plan and appreciate the efforts of our coaches, student-athletes and their families. Our student-athletes made their commitment to Texas A&M with a desire to compete at the highest level in college athletics and we are proud that we can offer scholarship support in 2020-21.”
According to the athletic department’s release, the total investment to allow the seniors to return for the 2020-2021 season is estimated to cost $550,000.
Along with the NCAA’s decision to give schools options for extending eligibility, the league also increased the number of student-athletes teams can have on scholarship to account for incoming freshmen and the seniors accepting the extra year of eligibility in addition to extending baseball’s roster limit.