Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury speaks during a press conference to introduce the women's basketball team's new head coach. (ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM)
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJ
Photo: Alyssa Pointer/ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJ

Todd Stansbury’s statement on eligibility relief for spring athletes

Georgia Tech athletic director Todd Stansbury released a statement Monday on the NCAA’s decision to grant Division I athletes an extra season of eligibility, which the Division I Council approved March 30. The legislation followed the NCAA’s cancellation of all spring-sports championships because of the coronavirus pandemic, and the resulting cancellation of spring sports altogether.

Stansbury’s statement offered his unsurprising approval of the measure, as it was a widely supported action. Stansbury did not make mention of his response to other parts of the legislation, that schools will be able to go beyond normal scholarship limits to provide aid to returning seniors, but also that schools will not be required to offer the same level of aid that they had received in the 2019-20 academic year.

The statement did note that “there are still a lot of details to be worked out.”

The ability of schools to pay the extra scholarship costs was raised as a potential difficulty for athletic departments as they likely face revenue shortages in months to come. Even before the cessation of college athletics, the Tech athletic association’s annual budget was projected to finish the fiscal year with a $700,000 deficit and its reserve fund in a $3.9 million deficit.

Stansbury’s statement: “I am happy that the NCAA Division I Council approved a waiver for student-athletes who participate in spring sports to gain an extra year of eligibility. I think it was the right thing to do following the unprecedented events that led to the cancellation of their 2020 seasons. There are still a lot of details to be worked out but, as always, our No. 1 priority is acting in the best interests of our student-athletes, and we’ll proceed with that priority in mind.”

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