NCAA approves 4-game redshirt rule for college football

15 June, 2018, 01:16 | Author: Laura Christensen
  • Former Alabama offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy works through drills during Alabama football practice Monday Nov. 28 2016 at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility in Tuscaloosa Ala

"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", Miami athletic director Blake James, who is also chair of the council, said in a statement.

Under the new rule, athletes would be permitted to be contacted when they notify their current coaches, who have two days to enter the names into a database created and managed by the NCAA that will alert schools who can be recruited.

The change to the freshmen rule should mean coaches will roll out first-year players that they wouldn't have in years past. The NCAA says that part of the rule change was to relieve pressure from starters that feel obliged to play through injuries. The rule goes into effect on October 15. Both changes will go into effect for the coming season and both could have ripple effects for the Nebraska football team for decades.

Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been an outspoken proponent of the NCAA changing its redshirt rules to allow younger players the chance to get some limited game experience without losing a full year of eligibility.


The executive director of the American Football Coaches Association and former Louisiana-Monroe head coach had been pushing for almost two decades to change the NCAA's rules regarding redshirts. Essentially, if a coach wants to use a player, or more appropriately "try out" a player, they can do so and can then decide to keep the player's redshirt intact by discontinue their playing time as long as it does not exceed four games. "Freshman players who have redshirted up to this point could still play in a bowl game and still be a redshirted player and have their five-year clock". Previously, college coaches were able to block the transferring athlete from certain schools, and the athlete was required to obtain permission for schools to contact him. The rule will put an end to a debatable practice wherein a DI coach would prevent an athlete wishing to transfer from contacting specific schools (usually rival schools).

Even with the new rule, conferences could still restrict athletes from transferring within the league. The new standard will be that a player tells the school he intends to transfer.

The council also adopted a proposal that will allow student-athletes to transfer and receive a scholarship without asking their school for permission. "The opportunity to play in a small number of games will ease this decision for coaches and help the student-athlete's development and transition to the college game". Last season, this opportunity may have led to redshirts like quarterback Tommy DeVito and cornerback Ifeatu Meliufonwu seeing playing time as they prepared to step into larger roles.

The rule change was proposed by the ACC and backed by the American Football Coaches Association. But there are some student-athletes (like many of their peers in college) that work very hard to get a 2.75 or a 2.9 so why should they not be given the same rights as other student-athletes? Instead, students will inform their current school of their desire to transfer.

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