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NCAA rules 2020-21 winter athletes eligible for another year

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Seniors like Jordan Bohannon, Luka Garza, and Spencer Lee could return, in theory

NCAA Basketball: Indiana at Iowa
“5 years at Iowa!” - Luka Garza, probably
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

In keeping with the decision for fall athletes, the NCAA officially ruled winter athletes would receive an extra year of eligibility.

What it means for Iowa is, well, they could run it back with everyone next year if Luka Garza and Jordan Bohannon decided to stay a fifth and sixth year, respectively. Though it’s unlikely they take the year, both could chase conference records - Garza with points and Bohannon with threes - in 2021/22.

Further down the pipe, Iowa’s six-man freshman class (2020 recruits + Patrick McCaffery) will turn into a seven-man class in 2021 with Peyton Sandfort. Somebody like former Hawkeye Cordell Pemsl could get a grad degree from Virginia Tech and head to another school and get another degree. I hope he does!

Flipping sports, Spencer Lee will be able to chase four individual national championships, if he is able to get his third in spring 2021.

Though it makes sense for the NCAA to add the year of eligibility given the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, I can’t help but think it is a day late and dollar short considering how 2020 seniors were left without any semblance of closure. After all, there is a plan (we think) to hold national championships amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021 while 2020 seniors were not granted that possibility.

There is also the concern(?) about the sport becoming even more like the wild West with transfers. At least there are people like Jeff Goodman to keep it in line for the rest of us.

Or not!