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NCAA eases up on Division I football redshirt restrictions

14 June 2018
NCAA eases up on Division I football redshirt restrictions

"Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

So count Mendenhall among the scores of college coaches praising the NCAA's new redshirt policy. More often than not, it limited players from speaking to other schools in the same conference or on future schedules.

Previously, a football player who played in a game or fewer lost a year of eligibility but could appeal to get the year back because of injury or other reasons.

Mid-year enrollees will not be allowed to participate in bowl games but, other than that, there are no limitations on the four games redshirt players can participate in.

The new rule goes into effect for the upcoming season.

The Division I Council officially approved a new rule on Wednesday that will eliminate the permission-to-contact process when a student-athlete transfers programs.

Berry was extremely optimistic about the proposal's chances following the AFCA Convention in January, was less positive in March and cautious in April, when the proposal was tabled over questions about timing, the number of games and potential application to other sports. I'm all for the change. This is great for student-athletes. If, for example, a coach needs to dip into his depth chart at the end of the season, he can do so without burning a freshman's redshirt.

When the NCAA was considering the matter, University of Richmond coach Russ Huesman said a redshirt rule modification would be "unbelievable, especially at our level, with our numbers".

Currently, Division I student-athletes have five years to play four seasons. "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".

The NCAA Division I Council approved the change, effective October 15, on Wednesday.

Under the new system, a student can inform his or her current school of a desire to transfer, and then the school must enter that student's name into a national transfer database within two business days.

The NCAA's Transfer Working Group proposed the change in fall 2017 in an attempt to separate a student-athlete's interest in transferring to a new school from the process of receiving a scholarship at the new school.

The previous rule required permission for the athletes to be able to contact another school to receive a scholarship after transferring. "Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries", NCAA Division I Council chairperson and Miam athletic director Blake James said in an NCAA statement.