In response to the impact COVID-19 has had on high school students, the NCAA announced Friday it’s loosening academic standards for athletes to join college rosters next season.

To help navigate what the NCAA called an “unprecedented situation,” students who graduate this spring or summer will not be required to have an ACT or SAT score. To qualify for Division I, they need a 2.3 GPA (2.2 for Division II) in 10 NCAA-approved core courses — with a combined seven in English, math and science — completed prior to their senior year.

These updated requirements will not apply to students graduating after summer 2020.

Additionally, students can complete up to six core courses after the start of their seventh semester of high school and before enrolling in college, and use those courses to count toward their eligibility.

This could be particularly good news for the Nebraska men’s basketball team, which has one spot on the roster to fill for next season. The main target for that spot is Adama Sanogo, a four-star center from the New York City area who has planned to reclassify from the 2021 class to 2020. The issue Sanogo faced was that he hadn’t taken the ACT, and testing opportunities this spring had been canceled.

Now, after the NCAA’s adjustment to qualification standards, Sanogo could be eligible as long as he has a 2.3 GPA and has fulfilled core-course requirements. Sanogo has not yet announced his college choice, though Nebraska is one of his top options.

Chris Heady covers Husker football and is the Nebraska men's basketball beat writer. He started at The World-Herald in 2017. Follow him on Twitter @heady_chris. Email: chris.heady@owh.com.

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