NORFOLK, Va. - Monday, the NCAA Division I Council voted to grant relief to spring student-athletes whose seasons were impacted by the Coronavirus. The ruling provides an eligibility waiver to any student-athlete, regardless of year in school, in a spring sport (baseball, softball, lacrosse, tennis, golf, etc.).
Sam Perelman, a former tennis player at Old Dominion University and now a graduate student, is one of only two student-athletes on the 40-person NCAA Division I Council.
The council is made up of college sports administrators representing all 32 D-I conferences, plus two members of the student-athlete advisory committee - of which Perelman is the Vice Chair. Earlier on Monday, 60 SAAC members released a letter calling for the council to provide the extra eligibility to all athletes whose seasons were impacted by the COVID-19 related shutdown.
Tuesday, via FaceTime from ODU's Folkes-Stevens Tennis Center, Perelman dished on the monumental meeting.
"There was contention in the beginning, I would venture to say," Perelman explained to News 3 Sports Director Adam Winkler. "I think it was a win, honestly, overall. I think everybody feels for those winter sports. But the spring athletes that really did not have an opportunity compete deserved this."
While student-athletes earn another season of eligibility, do not call it a 'free' year - because it will not come cheap.
"It puts tremendous pressure on our coaches to come up with a formula to accommodate this request," Marshall told News 3 Tuesday. "The coaches will have some decisions, they'll come back to me - and we'll come up with the best possible way to assist our students. We also must be sensitive to what we're going through as a college community."
By granting an extra year of eligibility, the Division I Council offers a rewind, a do-over. However, in reality, it's unlike anything we've ever seen in college athletics.