After NCAA eligibility vote, universities now tasked with making it work

After NCAA eligibility vote, universities now tasked with making it work
SFA Baseball (Source: KTRE Sports)

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - It came as no surprise that the NCAA DI council voted to give spring student-athletes another year of eligibility. That was the easy part.

The hard part will be figuring out the financial impact of the decision. Programs are given so many scholarships. For instance with baseball, universities are allowed to divide 11.7 scholarships between at lest 27 players. With seniors possibly coming back and freshman coming into the programs, schools will have to do some number crunching.

The NCAA is loosening scholarship rules under their vote. Under normal years, universities were not allowed to reduce aid to students who were offered multi-year scholarships. That can change now for the seniors returning with schools being allowed to reduce scholarship money or even eliminate aid to a returning player.

“This is were the rubber meets the road,” Southland Conference Commissioner Tom Burnett said. “Whether it is SFA or our other member institutions, they are going to have to figure it out in the parameters allowed. First and foremost is how many seniors are coming back.”

The struggle for an university like SFA, which is smaller then your larger state schools is revenue streams. With spring sport seasons and tournaments eliminated, SFA will take a hit in revenue. The school could have had a pay day with the NCAA National tournament and now that money in the budget will have to come from somewhere else.

According to CNBC, 75 % of the NCAA yearly revenue comes from the National Tournament. With multiple winter and all spring championships canceled the NCAA will be giving out less money to conferences and institutions.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reported that the organization could give out $380 million this year, down significantly from last year’s revenue giveaway of $611 million.

“We have been running some numbers and the cost of adding a season of competition for these seniors is significant for us,” SFA Athletic Director Ryan Ivey said. “There are a lot of unknowns for us when it comes to a model planning standpoint. We need to take some time and be thoughtful in our approach through this process.”

Copyright 2020 KTRE. All rights reserved.