The NCAA is not likely to grant an extra year of eligibility for men’s and women’s basketball players after their season, including the March Madness tournament, were canceled abruptly on March 12 due to the coronavirus, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein.
The policy would encompass all other winter sport athletes as well, effectively ending the sporting careers of seniors across the country. The news comes despite pleas from many players and coaches throughout men’s and women’s basketball in recent days.
Spring sport athletes—whose entire seasons were canceled—were granted an extra year of eligibility last week.
The NCAA canceled their men’s and women’s tournaments the day after the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19, which prompted the NBA to suspend play indefinitely. Though March Madness tried to carry on for as long as possible—the tournament makes up approximately 75% of the NCAA’s yearly revenue—president Mark Emmert said there was no choice after Gobert was the NBA’s Patient Zero.
There are more than 200,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally across at least 144 countries. In the U.S., over 7,000 cases have been reported with at least 110 dead.