The NCAA Board of Directors has approved a blanket waiver for additional eligibility for fall sports athletes due to the uncertainty regarding the season thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, the governing body announced on Friday.
The plan, as put forward by the Division I Council, will allow all players to retain a season of eligibility, regardless of whether their school plays or does not play and whether the individual players play or do not play.
Any player that would have exhausted their five-year eligibility clock will also see it extended, and players that would have exhausted their eligibility will not count toward the scholarship limit moving forward.
So players that are seniors this fall will all be eligible again for 2021, regardless of how much they play, and they will not count against the team’s 85-man scholarship limit, so their returning will not impact the ability of the incoming Class of 2021 to earn a scholarship.
Just because the players are guaranteed eligibility does not mean their teams will have to allow them to return. When a similar arrangement was made for 2020 spring sports athletes that missed their season, several schools elected to not renew aid for their seniors.
Pitt has two sixth-year seniors: wide receiver Tre Tipton and linebacker John Petrishen. It was not made immediately clear if they will automatically receive an additional waiver.
Pitt’s fifth-year seniors include outside linebacker Phil Campbell III, left guard Bryce Hargrove, safety Damar Hamlin, defensive end Patrick Jones, kicker Alex Kessman, tight end Lucas Krull, wide receiver Taysir Mack, center Jimmy Morrissey, middle linebacker Chase Pine, defensive end Rashad Weaver, right tackle Keldrick Wilson and tight end Jake Zilinskas.
Pitt has five true seniors: long snapper Cal Adomitis, running back A.J. Davis, cornerback Damarri Mathis, quarterback Kenny Pickett and cornerback Jason Pinnock.