Wisconsin Athletic Director Barry Alvarez

The University of Wisconsin will not be allowing senior spring-sport athletes an extra year of eligibility due to COVID-19 closing down their seasons early.

On his monthly radio show Wednesday night on the Badger Sports Network at Learfield IMG College, UW athletic director Barry Alvarez said the NCAA overreacted in restoring a year of eligibility to spring sports students amid the coronavirus-related shutdown.

The university issued a statement on Thursday afternoon and it said, “The NCAA Division I Council’s vote last month to allow institutions to provide an additional season of competition and extend the period of eligibility for spring-sport student-athletes comes at a time of unprecedented uncertainty in college athletics.  UW Athletics places tremendous emphasis on its student-athletes earning an undergraduate degree and having a great competitive experience.  In the case of the UW spring student-athletes to which the NCAA’s waiver would apply, a substantial percentage of the student-athletes are scheduled to earn their degrees before next spring.  In spite of today’s uncertainties, we will do everything possible to support our student-athletes as they work toward those degrees.

“In regard to athletic competition, we will continue to follow the guidance of medical professionals.  We are all in a rapidly changing environment that makes decision-making challenging.  We will continue to keep the health and safety of our student-athletes, staff and fans at the forefront of our decision-making.

“The athletic department has made the decision to not pursue waivers that would extend the eligibility of our senior student-athletes.  Student-athletes in their fourth year of eligibility have concluded their careers with us.

“This group of student-athletes has our full support up to, including and beyond graduation.  They are Badgers for life and we are greatly appreciative of the way they have represented our department and the university.”

According to a university spokesman, the impacted athletes have already been granted the waiver and it allows them to transfer and use the extra year of eligibility at another institution.

Alvarez said the NCAA action impacts around 35 Badger seniors.

AUDIO: Barry Alvarez says UW is not ready or willing to fund scholarships for spring-sport seniors :19

AUDIO: Barry Alvarez says UW isn’t ready to pay for seniors to return for another season :13

Audio is Courtesy of:  “The Badger Sports Network at Learfield IMG College”

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