NCAA waives Division I minimum on scholarship spending

The NCAA approved a waiver that will allow schools to spend below the minimum level on athletic scholarships required to compete in Division I.

The Division I Council Coordination Committee approved two other blanket waivers Wednesday that had been requested by several conferences in recent weeks in response to coronavirus pandemic.

Basketball and football players will be allowed to participate in summer athletic activities without being enrolled in school. Also, schools that are in the process of moving to D-I can be counted toward the minimum required Division I opponents.

The coordinator committee also signed off on waiving some recruiting rules to provide more flexibility for coaches and athletes through the extended dead period. The dead period for all sports currently runs through May 31. The committee will decided at its May 13 meeting to extend the dead period through June 30.

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The scheduling and scholarship waivers were part of a broad request made by the commissioners of the five non-Power Five FBS conferences two weeks ago on behalf of all Division I. The conferences had also requested a blanket waiver on the minimum number of sports required (16) to compete in Division I, but that was denied. Schools will still be able apply for a waiver to the sport minimum on a case-by-case basis.

Division I schools are required to offer a minimum of 200 athletic grants-in-aid per year or spend at least $4 million in grants-in-aid on athletes, and provide 90% of the permissible maximum grants-in-aid in football over a rolling two-year period.

Those minimums will be waived for one year.

“This waiver does not provide relief from other financial aid rules, including financial aid commitments to prospective and current student-athletes or regulations related to the cancellation or reduction of financial aid,” the NCAA release said.

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