DI Council extends eligibility for winter sport student-athletes

Members also provide additional flexibility in championships selection, membership requirements

Winter sport student-athletes who compete during 2020-21 in Division I will receive both an additional season of competition and an additional year in which to complete it, the Division I Council decided. The same flexibility was provided to student-athletes after the spring season was canceled in 2020 and the fall season was seriously impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Council met by videoconference Tuesday and Wednesday.

“The pandemic will continue to impact winter sport seasons in ways we can’t predict. Council members opted to provide for winter sport student-athletes the same flexibility given spring and fall sports previously,” said Council chair M. Grace Calhoun, athletics director at Pennsylvania. “The actions today ensure the continuation of local decision-making in the best interest of each institution and its student-athletes.”

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2021 J-Club Hall of Honor Class: Gary Svendsen ’72

By Frank Rajkowski, SJU Writer/Video Producer

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. – Gary Svendsen ’72 wasn’t initially sold on the concept of attending Saint John’s University. In fact, the highly sought-after wrestler from Coon Rapids (Minn.) High School had already decided on another school as a senior in the spring of 1968.

But SJU head coach Terry Haws – who had just completed his first season at the program’s helm – refused to take no for an answer.

And it turned out he had an ally in those efforts embedded inside the Svendsen household.

“After I visited several schools, including Saint John’s, I decided I was going to Winona State,” Svendsen recalls. “But my dad was really high on Saint John’s. I was born in Brainerd and Saint John’s was a popular school in that part of the state. He really wanted my brother Tom ’75 and I to go there. So he was disappointed when I decided to not to.

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NCAA Division I Council reportedly votes to grant additional year of eligibility to winter-sports athletes

Spencer Lee’s pathway to become a four-time NCAA champion could be cleared again, and the drive for five might be alive for Yianni Diakomihalis and Mekhi Lewis.

The NCAA’s Division I Council voted Tuesday in favor of granting an additional year of eligibility to winter sports athletes, college basketball analyst Jeff Goodman reported. Goodman tweeted that the decision could be brought back for reconsideration and won’t be official until the close of Wednesday’s meetings.

In August, the NCAA granted blanket waivers to athletes participating in fall sports, enabling them to compete this season without exhausting a year of eligibility. The NCAA also ruled then that schools would be allowed a temporary expansion of scholarship limits to accommodate seniors who opt to return for an additional season. Continue reading at trackwrestling.com

Smith, Ortiz and Russell Lead Gophers at US Senior Nationals

Current and former Gophers led a Minnesota contingent at the US Senior Nationals this past weekend at Xtream Arena & GreenState Family Fieldhouse in Coralville, Iowa. Pat Smith and Alec Ortiz finished second and third in Greco-Roman, respectively, while Sean Russell placed fourth in freestyle.

Smith and Ortiz advanced to a semifinal matchup at 77kg with Smith moving on to the finals with a 4-1 victory. Smith fell in the championship bout against No. 3 Kendrick Sanders, while Ortiz rallied for a third-place finish.

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