NCAA mandates safeguards for student-athletes; eligibility relief for opt outs to be determined by Aug. 14

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(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

The NCAA Board of Governors has directed all schools and conferences to safeguard the well-being, scholarships and eligibility of student-athletes.

One key directive from the NCAA is that each student-athlete must be allowed to opt out due to COVID-19 concerns if they so choose, and in the event that they do opt out, their scholarships will still be honored.

Conferences and schools must decide by Aug. 14 what sort of eligibility relief will be provided to those student-athletes who opt out. This directive aims to give athletes and their families the ability to know their eligibility status before the season begins.

In addition, member schools are not allowed to require student-athletes to waive their legal rights regarding COVID-19, and all member schools must make sure COVID-19-related medical expenses for student-athletes.

In response to complaints from student-athletes, the NCAA will establish a hotline and an email to allow reporting of various failures in COVID-19 precaution.

“Our decisions place emphasis where it belongs — on the health and safety of college athletes,” NCAA President Mark Emmert said. “Student-athletes should never feel pressured into playing their sport if they do not believe it is safe to do so. These policies ensure they can make thoughtful, informed decisions about playing this fall.”

For a full list of the directives from the NCAA Board of Governors, click here.

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