Lappas On Extra Year Of Eligibility: I Don't See It Happening

Steve Lappas supports granting seniors an extra year of eligibility after the NCAA Tournaments were canceled, but he doesn't think they'll get it

Zach Gelb
March 13, 2020 - 10:00 am
Payton Pritchard Oregon

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On Thursday, the NCAA canceled the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments, as well as all winter and spring sports activities. The reaction among players, coaches and fans ranged from disappointment to anger, but after the NBA suspended its season, the NCAA’s options were limited.

“It’s the right decision,” Steve Lappas said on The Zach Gelb Show. “There’s no question the right decision has been made to cancel everything. No doubt. But you got to feel for these kids. They waited their whole lives to play in One Shining Moment, and it’s gone in the most bizarre of circumstances that ever has happened – and [will] hopefully never happen again.”

Many, including Geno Auriemma, believe the NCAA should grant seniors in winter and spring sports an extra year of eligibility. Steve Lappas shares that sentiment, but he doesn’t know if it’s feasible.

“That would be a nice thing to do,” he said, “[but] I don’t think it’s going to happen. We have graduate transfers right now, but to give a whole extra year to play the whole season is probably tough to do. I would be in favor of it. I don’t think it’s going to happen. The NCAA is going to look at it like, ‘You played 30, 32 games, and now all of a sudden we’re going to bring you back for a whole other season?’”

There is, however, precedent for granting eligibility under extreme circumstances.

“When a program goes on probation and a kid was not part of the probation, he can transfer and be eligible immediately,” Lappas said. “There is something to be said for kids that want to have the opportunity to play in the NCAA Tournament and that was taken away from them for a reason that had nothing to do with them. That’s something that’s happened in the past. I just don’t see them getting a whole extra year at this point.”