By Sharon Robb
INDIANAPOLIS, April 20, 2020—The NCAA Eligibility Center is waiving the standardized test score requirement for Division I and Division II incoming freshman student-athletes for the 2020-21 academic year.
The governing body’s decision was because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Seniors still needing the SAT and ACT test scores to qualify were unable to take the tests in March and April because schools across the nation were forced to close.
Student-athletes now can qualify to compete in Division I by having a 2.3 cumulative grade-point average in 10 core courses that are approved by the NCAA. For Division II, student-athletes must have at least a 2.2 GPA.
The same GPA requirements will apply to international students and they must complete at least 10 core courses prior to the start of their senior year.
“The Eligibility Center is navigating the complexity of COVID-19 and its negative impact on our membership, high schools and student-athletes,” Felicia Martin, vice president of the NCAA Eligibility Center, said in a statement. “We understand this is an unprecedented situation and a difficult time for students and their parents, and the Eligibility Center is working diligently to ensure the best possible outcome for college-bound student-athletes and our member schools.”
FHSAA CANCELS SPRING SPORTS
High school spring sports, including water polo, were cancelled by the Florida High School Activities Association.
Following Governor Ron DeSantis’ announcement mandating schools continue distance learning for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year, the FHSAA decided to cancel all FHSAA-affiliated events, including the state series and all championship events, for spring sports.
In a statement issued Monday, the organization said, “The safety of our student-athletes, coaches, officials, and fans is our top priority. With the evolving threat of the CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19), we must ensure that we do not contribute to the spread of this illness. We are deeply saddened for our student-athletes who have seen their seasons and/or high school careers end so abruptly.
“Our Association knows the impact and role high school athletics play in the lives of so many and will continue to work towards the betterment of high school sports. We know this is a trying time, but the health and safety of all is of utmost importance to this Association.”
Also, the FHSAA said that under the guidance of the Florida Department of Education regarding grade level retention, and upon review of the Florida Statutes and FHSAA Bylaws, no additional eligibility will be granted for spring sport athletes.
Anyone requiring more information on student-athlete eligibility is being encouraged to go to the FHSAA website.
Added the FHSAA, “To all our senior student-athletes, we thank you for dedicating your time and efforts to your school, your coaches, and your teammates. Cherish the memories you have made and embrace all that the future holds for you. While we are saddened that you are unable to compete this season, we could not be prouder to have been represented by such hard-working individuals.
“Our Association is eager to reconvene all sports in the 2020-21 school year. In the meantime, we strongly encourage everyone to continue adhering to the recommendations of the CDC and your local health departments during this hiatus. Please remember to practice social distancing, frequently wash your hands and avoid touching your face.”
Water polo was also canceled as one of the events of the 2020 Sunshine State Games because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The June 26-28 event set for Coral Springs Aquatic Complex will not be rescheduled. The Sunshine State Games are held annually.
LANCE LESAGE COMMITS TO PURDUE
St. Thomas Aquinas incoming senior Lance Lesage, the No. 1 ranked backstroker in Broward County this past season, recently committed to Purdue. Lesage will swim for Dan Ross, a three-time NCAA Division I Big 10 Coach of the Year, who completed his 34th season as head coach of the Boilermakers. The former SOFLO swimmer just missed a state 3A title in the 100-yard backstroke but was still the county’s top finisher. Lesage was the top seed in the 100-yard backstroke after morning prelims in a best time 49.16, dropping 1.38 seconds. He finished second at night in 49.55 behind Chiles junior Hayden Kwan in 49.01. Lesage was also ranked second in the county in the 100-yard freestyle.
Sharon Robb can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org