Prep Baseball Report

Eligibility Center Shows Flexibility with COVID-19 Issues

Brandon Hall
Executive Director, PBR of NC

On Friday April 17, 2020, the NCAA released a statement from their website addressing how the Eligibility Center is handling issues dues to COVID-19.  The issues the Eligibility Center is addressing deal with how students are finishing their 2019-2020 school year, the affect of COVID-19 on the Senior class to provide official transcripts and proof of graduation, as well as how the Eligibility Center will deal with core course disruption and a grading scale of Pass/Fail.

To see a running list of COVID-19 updates from the NCAA Eligibility Center, CLICK HERE.

To see the Eligibility Center update from 4/17/20, dealing with frequently asked questions, CLICK HERE.


Quick Take-Aways

The release from the Eligibility Center gives some incite on the NCAA and how they are responding to concerns of current and future student-athletes.  The good sign is the NCAA is showing flexibility and mobility concerning issues that are popping up as we all deal with the COVID-19.  There will come a point where the NCAA dips back into the darkness, but right now, they are using this opportunity to adjust as needed to help their student-athletes.  If this flexibility continues, expect to see some adjustments to rules, and concerns, that are affecting baseball’s roster issues in the coming year.

The “Standard Evaluation” of an athlete is adjusting, in terms of whether the athlete is NCAA eligible.  Athletes that are on a good course to be eligible may not see any changes, but athletes that were struggling to maintain their core course GPA, and get their test scores to an eligible level, may like NCAA’s decision. 

If an athlete has a Core GPA of 2.30 for D1, and 2.20 for D2, in 10 core units, 7 of which must be in English, Math, or Science, entering their 7th semester (1st semester as a Senior), they will be deemed eligible.  These students will not need to meet an ACT/SAT score to be eligible.  This ruling only applies to graduating seniors. Along with issues of classes meeting, there are issues with the senior class' ability to take the standardized tests.  The NCAA's ruling is eliminating the worry of student-athletes that need to get a higher test score to become eligible.

While most baseball players do not battle NCAA eligibility, this could alleviate issues for some.  Typically the bigger issue for baseball players would be an individual school’s admission requirements.  In times where the NCAA is making a ruling, due to extenuating circumstances, schools can follow that lead.  The school’s requirements may still be higher than the NCAA Eligibility Center, but for students looking for answers, this could be a jumping off point with a school’s admissions department.

The NCAA has requirements for schools to classify classes as Core Classes for the Core GPA.  The standards are typical to that of any school system but every school has to register their courses with the NCAA and identify those that are Core Classes.  In the release on 4/17/20, the NCAA basically approves courses that had to adjust to on-line or e-learning environments.  They also address courses that shift from a grading scale to Pass/Fail.  Core classes that are given a Pass/Fail grade will be accepted as Core Courses.  If a GPA for that class of 2.30 improves the student-athletes overall Core GPA, then a 2.30 will be applied for the course.  If a 2.30 GPA for the course hurts the students Core GPA, then the 2.30 will not be applied as a numerical grade.  The rulings on the classes shifting to on-line, as well as the handling of Pass/Fail classes will be applied to all high school students.

For students that are borderline eligible with the NCAA Eligibility Center, they should keep up with the NCAA COVID-19 Eligibility responses.  Some of these guidelines will move with students that are in high school now, through their graduation, while other guidelines will only apply to the current senior class.  Guidance counselors at high schools and academic counselors at potential college choices should be able to help as well.



Prior to becoming the PBR North Carolina Scouting Director, Hall spent 18 years coaching at the Division I level in North Carolina. Raised in Raleigh, Hall coached 14 years at UNC Charlotte, including seven years as associate head coach and 11 seasons as the recruiting coordinator. Prior to joining the coaching staff at Charlotte, Hall spent four seasons as an assistant coach at his alma mater, UNC Wilmington, where he also worked with the pitchers. In his 18 seasons as an assistant at the two schools, Hall's teams have won eight regular-season championships and seven of his pitching staffs have been ranked nationally in ERA, including the top spot in the nation in 2007 (at 2.64).


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