While the Big Ten announced that the fall football season will resume the weekend of Oct. 23-24, athletes across the country have announced their intention to opt out of the fall sports season. For colleges and universities, it’s a requirement that such an option is on the table this year.
In August, the NCAA Board of Governors announced:
All student-athletes must be allowed to opt out of participation due to concerns about contracting COVID-19. If a college athlete chooses to opt out, that individual’s athletics scholarship commitment must be honored by the college or university.
Crimson Quarry has obtained a copy of IU’s one-page, five-section COVID-19 opt-out form.
You can download a copy of the form here: IU COVID-19 Opt-Out Form.
Athletes must list who their roommates are in the athlete information section of the form, presumably for the purposes of alternative housing arrangements and to limit the potential exposure to active athletes.
The next section limits which services are available to athletes who opt out, which includes:
- Remote academic support services
- Sports medicine services
- Remote financial aid services
- Remote Student-Athlete Excellence Academy programming
- Remote counseling services
However, by signing the opt-out form, athletes agree to give up access to:
- Team meetings
- Athletic facilities
- Practice and competition
- Athletic awards/banquets
- Team-issued gear/equipment
- Strength and conditioning training facilities
- Tobias Nutrition Center/occasional meals
- Team travel/per diems
- Recruiting activities
Athletes who opt out of the 2020-21 school year will not have the season count as one of their four seasons of competition and they will not have their athletic aid reduced or canceled. However, they must remain eligible in accordance with conference and NCAA rules, and students must be enrolled in a full-time course load.
The final two sections of IU’s opt-out form are where the signatures go – from the athlete and someone from the Office of Compliance Services. Athletes acknowledge that they opted out on their own initiative and that they’ve had the chance to learn about the eligibility and financial ramifications of their decision.
This, all of this, is only possible if athletes have the option to sit out this season out of COVID-19 concerns. And this is the document that allows them to do so.