NCAA's Extended Eligibility May Have Unintended Consequences For High School Athletes

The NCAA has granted current college athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic, but this may have unintended consequences for high school athletes hoping to play at the next level; CBS2's Meg Baker reports.

Video Transcript

- The NCAA has granted current college athletes an extra year of eligibility due to the pandemic.

- But this may have unintended consequences for high school athletes hoping to play at the next level, CBS 2's Meg Baker explains.

MEG BAKER: Brandon Hendryx is a star basketball player and solid student at Trenton Catholic. He's hoping to play Division I, but is concerned college coaches didn't get to see him play enough due to canceled seasons, and questions if there will be room for him on the team if college players take a fifth year of eligibility.

Have you been in touch with schools? What are they saying?

BRANDON HENDRYX: Mainly just we have students that may come back. We don't know who's coming in. So they just keep me posted.

- With the NCAA's ruling, it causes a bottleneck effect with the high school students.

MEG BAKER: College sports programs have been granted the option of offering an extra year of eligibility because of the pandemic. While it's the right thing for those athletes, it could have a trickle down effect for high school athletes. Joanne Nora-Trattner, a college athlete recruitment advisor with Bergen County-based Clear Direction, says she hasn't seen the effects of this yet, but--

JOANNE NORA-TRATTNER: Scholarships were not on the level that I had seen in the past because of budgets and coaches not sure what kind of money they have.

MEG BAKER: She says the repercussion may be a backlog of students on the roster.

Kwaheem Smith is Hendryx's AAU coach.

KWAHEEM SMITH: Tough times right now. And you know, if the recruiters don't know who you are, it's kind of hard to be seen. --leaving the kids in a situation where, you know, they have little options.

MEG BAKER: Some of these young athletes feel shortchanged. Hendryx's mom is petitioning the state to allow parents to determine if their child should repeat a year. She says this would help make up the learning loss of virtual instruction and benefit the athletic recruitment process.

In Trenton, New Jersey, Meg Baker, CBS 2 News.