My understanding is that all players are granted an extra year if the season is not played or if they choose to sit out because of covid concerns. Is this not the official policy?Pretty sure they can 'find' the money if they need to. However, it could be a tough call. You don't need to offer a 5th year extension to players who don't have a reasonable chance of seeing the field/court/track, etc. They've gotten a chance to earn a degree. Give them automatic transfer no sit opportunities. The net is, in worse case scenario - some are going to be delayed, and likely bench sitters may have to move on. The high school players at the low end of the overall opportunity (2*s, etc) are probably not gonna make it.
Regardless of how it works out, you don't make the decision to play based on how it disrupts a players opportunity in the future - you make it based on your confidence that you can contain risk and keep your players and staff safe. There are people who have lost jobs and are struggling with very real life issues during this. Losing a season of playing opportunity just seems minor in comparison. Pandemics suck.