'March Madness' talent won't get any extra eligibility

New York (AFP) –


US college basketball stars who were denied the chance to play for a national crown in "March Madness" due to the coronavirus pandemic will not be given an extra opportunity.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) division one council voted Monday to grant extra eligibility only for spring sport athletes whose seasons had barely started.

The council declined to give such benefits to winter sport participants whose seasons were played to near-conclusion, yet were robbed of national and regional championship tournaments by the shutdown of sport due to the deadly COVID-19 outbreak.

That includes "March Madness," the national men's basketball tournament which typically would gearing up for the "Final Four" next weekend after riveting much of the nation to television screens in sports bars.

Many of the top college players from the unfinished campaign have already declared their eligibility for the 2020 NBA Draft, which is unlikely to take place as scheduled in June.