Junior College athletes granted extra year of eligibilty

Players+from+Pima+Community+College+and+Mesa+Community+College+battle+it+out+to+help+their+team+win+in+conference+play.+Junior+college+athletes+are+given+an+extra+year+of+eligibility+to+play+the+sport+they%27re+in+after+NJCAA+passed+blanket+waiver.+Photo+credit%3A+Jim+Purcell

Jim Purcell

Players from Pima Community College and Mesa Community College battle it out to help their team win in conference play. Junior college athletes are given an extra year of eligibility to play the sport they’re in after NJCAA passed blanket waiver. Photo credit: Jim Purcell

Keanu Ruffo, Sports Editor

Junior college athletes do not have to worry or stress anymore about losing a year of eligibility.

The National Junior College Athletic Association board of regents approved a blanket waiver on Thursday for all sports in the 2020-21 season.

This means athletes at all junior colleges in 50 states will not lose a year of eligibility regardless of their levels of participation this year.

“The Board of Regents feels this decision is best for the success and well-being of our student-athletes and member colleges at this time,” Christopher Parker, NJCAA president & CEO, said in the press release.

Finally some good news to hear for the junior college level. Athletes and coaches at the junior college level are tired of waiting for a plan to bring back the season to slowly come along.

The ruling potentially means that freshmen could play this spring and still enter a four-year school with four years of eligibility. Likewise, junior college athletes would be eligible to return for a third season.

Returning student-athletes will be considered non-counters for letter of intent and NJCAA eligibility purposes.

For athletes, this is another great opportunity for them to show their talent another year.

Having this extra year could bring athletes Division-I,II,III scouts to look at them and possibly earn a scholarship offer to play anywhere in the country.

In July, the NJCAA voted to move its football season back to the spring.

Practices will begin on March 1, 2021, with games beginning on March 25. Teams will play between six and eight games, with play wrapping up by May 15 and the NJCAA championship and bowl games beginning on June 3.

Current eligibility and academic requirements will still apply in order for student-athletes to compete in 2020-21 regular and postseason play

The NJCAA eligibility committee will continue to review the participation requirements for the 2021-22 school year and wait for approval by the Board of Regents.