U.S.A. Rugby has announced new changes to the college eligibility rules. Last year the rules were changed so that players had only five years of eligibility after graduating high school. That ruffled a lot of feathers, including BYU, who often have players that serve two-year LDS missions when they are 18 or 19. The rules also impacted members of the military who had served overseas and then went back to college. Under the new rules players will have five years of eligibility in a seven-year span from their high school graduation with no exceptions. While the new rules aren't going to please everyone it's a compromise. The change was ratified by the College Management Council. Graduate students will still only have one year of eligibility and only for their school in which they got their undergraduate degree.
In the press release, Collegiate Director Rich Cortez said “This change in eligibility regulations is a result of the standard annual review of the regulations as well as a number of requests from college representatives and the D1A member teams to examine the rules in light of a number of issues related to fairness, equity, returning veterans to school, and a myriad of other situations. The College Management Council has determined the new rules can be applied equitably and uniformly and they take into account a person’s life choices and balanced that with the opportunity to play college rugby.”