We “may” have fall sports compete in the spring, was a simple enough phrase, however, the entire list of consequences of moving fall sports to the spring to student athletes, whether they are beginning their hoped for athletic journey, or ending, after after three years of hard work deserve answers. I was asked a question by a player from another Patriot League School, about the league extending a fifth year to those players losing a season. The NCAA has allowed the fifth year, but what is the League position? A senior athletic official in a PL school said to me the League rules state that for situations beyond the control of a student athlete, a fifth year will be allowed. That official opined COVID would fall into that category, and student athletes should consult their compliance officers regarding that action.
There a myriad of other questions that deserve to be answered sooner, rather than later:
1. In a fifth year will scholarships be continued, and the NCAA needs to answer whether will scholarship team limits be relaxed?
2. In the event the Ivy and Patriot League are the only Division One schools to halt fall sports, will spring practice and competition rules be demanded by the NCAA?
3. If an athlete decides to transfer, will the one year waiting transfer rule be enforceable?
4. Will gap years be permitted for all athletes?
The implications of the Patriot League and the Ivy League being the only Leagues without fall competition, begs the question as to who they will play and when. For individual schools, how will resources be rationed. ( Training personnel, field time on sites that host multiple sports, and priorities associated with weather and wear and tear on fields).
Each school has different resources to bring to the table not everyone has 40 plus billion dollars in endowment like Harvard.
I still believe this was a hasty, ill considered action by the Patriot League presidents. If it was well considered, those answers to the above questions would be readily available. They should have waited for the rest of Divison one ( especially the ones sponsoring Olympic sports ) to come to a considered solution. There was. no reason to be the second through the door with no one behind you!