Ivy League allows senior athletes to play as grad students

College Sports

NEW YORK (AP) — The Ivy League will allow current senior athletes to play sports as full-time grad students at their current university next year in a break with longstanding policies.

The change is a result of COVID-19, which canceled a full year of sports. Athletes must stay at the schools they are currently at to receive this exemption and must be admitted at the grad schools through regular channels the league confirmed to The Associated Press on Thursday.

It is a one-time exemption for the current seniors.

The Ivy League has had a a policy that only permitted undergraduate students to compete on athletic teams. Even when the NCAA granted an extra year of eligibility to all athletes in October because of the coronavirus, Ivy League competitors would have had to transfer to schools outside the conference to get their grad year.

It’s unclear as to how many athletes will be able to take advantage of this new exemption as many grad schools have already had their applications due.

While the Ivies became the only Division I conference this year to cancel all winter sports, including men’s and women’s basketball, there has been no decision yet made about the spring season. That is expected in the coming weeks.

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