Apr 4, 2019; Minneapolis, MN, USA; NCAA president Mark Emmert speaks during a press conference at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
The NCAA has released additional guidelines for its return-to-play plan on Wednesday following the NCAA Board of Governors meeting Tuesday evening.
The biggest overarching point of the document is the organization placing final decisions on 2020 fall athletic championships into the hands of individual divisions, i.e. Division I, Division II and Division III. Any decision regarding a fall championship must be made by August 21.
Additionally, all student-athletes must be allowed to opt out of participating in their season due to fears of contracting COVID-19. If an athlete does choose to opt out, that athlete’s scholarship must still be honored by the institution.
Member schools also will not have the ability to ask student athletes to waive their legal rights regarding COVID-19 as a condition of athletic participation. Member schools must also cover COVID-19 related medical expenses in order to avoid out-of-pocket expenses for families and student athletes who do contract the illness.
The last major point in the document is that if 50 percent or more of participating schools in a division in a particular sport cancel their season then the NCAA championship will also be canceled. If those championships are postponed, a decision to hold the championship at a later date will be made based on scientific knowledge of COVID-19 at the time, along with other considerations.
Remember, these guidelines largely do not impact FBS football as it is regulated by the College Football Playoff rather than the NCAA, but, in the scope of Iowa State, specifically, does impact women’s volleyball plus men’s and women’s cross country.
It will also impact football at the FCS, Division II and Division III levels.