With the springs sports season being canceled in 2020 due to the ongoing public health crisis, the NCAA made the decision to allow spring sports student-athletes the opportunity to return to competition for one more year. That ruling from the association then left it up to universities to honor that plan, if they so choose.
Penn State is one of many schools who plan to honor that ruling from the NCAA, but it won’t come at a cheap cost. Recently athletic director Sandy Barbour outlined the cost of allowing those athletes to return for one more year.
“We don’t tend to do those things as publicly as some,” Barbour said, according to 247Sports. “But we made a decision very early on that should the NCAA make it possible for spring sports seniors to return, that we would give them that opportunity and we would fund their scholarships at the same rate as they were on in the spring (of 2020).
“Given the number of students that have chosen to come back, that’s going to be about $700,000 of additional cost to us next year, which would have been a little bit of a challenge for us to do under normal circumstances,” she explained. “And 2020-21, I can tell you right now, are not gonna be normal circumstances from a financial model standpoint.”
Not all schools are approving student-athletes to return for an additional year of eligibility. Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez made headlines earlier this month, stating that the university will not honor the NCAA’s decision, saying “it’s time to move on with your life.”
It won’t come at a cheap cost for schools to allow spring athletes to redeem another year of eligibility, but several athletic departments seem to want to do what’s in the best interest of those student-athletes.