Air Force Academy head coach Troy Calhoun watches the action on the first day of practice Thursday, August 1, 2013. Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

The NCAA's decision to grant an extra year of eligibility for fall athletes will not impact Air Force cadet-athletes.

Friday's ruling was intended to provide aid amid uncertainty caused by the coronavirus, with some teams choosing to play seasons and others postponing fall sports until the spring. This allows athletes an extra season of eligibility regardless of how many competitions their school is able to play during the 2020-21 school year.

At Air Force, however, cadets will still graduate in eight semesters and move on to active duty service, regardless of their NCAA eligibility status. The only athletes who would be impacted would be those granted specific medical turnbacks or other "stops" to their time for issues, such as family hardships, that would extend their time at the academy beyond the typical four-year framework.

The NCAA's Division I Board of Directors also announced it would explore hosting scaled back fall championships in the spring, provided it could do so safely. That could impact Falcons sports such as volleyball, cross country and soccer. However, football's championships are handled by the College Football Playoff and not directly by the NCAA.

“We want to provide opportunities for student-athletes whenever possible,” said acting board chair Denise Trauth, president of Texas State. “We understand it will be complicated and different, and we’re not certain how it will look. But we believe it’s important to try to give students that championship experience.”

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