The NCAA Division I council has voted to allow any and all student-athletes one more year of college eligibility, whether they play this fall season or not.
This isn’t limited to football and basketball. All fall sports are included. But when it comes to football, the biggest ramifications exist. Thankfully, with incoming freshmen on scholarship, if the seniors do decide to come back and play another year, they will NOT count against the roster.
College football rosters at this point are limited to 85 players. Teams would add those seniors to that 85.
This isn’t the first time large, highly talented rosters have happened in college football. It was only in the last 30 years where they limited the size to 85.
Coach Bear Bryant was famous for recruiting talent, whether he needed it or not. Now, since the rosters are largely limited, like the NFL’s salary cap, this doesn’t occur.
But what isn’t always discussed is the cost it will have on these schools. Tuition, room and board, meals in some cases, all can exceed over $100,000 a student. And with some of these players having yet another year added on, institutions will need to foot the bill. Adding in the players set to start this year, and that expense rises.
Coaches are now going to have an even harder job with roster management. Times are different than they were when Bryant was coaching. While most player will not make it to their professional sport, more and more expect to play, sooner rather than later.
We’ve said that the effects of COVID-19 on college sports will affect the 2021 season more than this one, and the NCAA allowing one more year of eligibility is just another way that has come to light.
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