NCAA approves 4-game redshirt rule for college football

How the redshirt rule change will alter how college football teams use freshmen

The NCAA Division I Council approved the proposed (2017-17) four-game redshirt rule, which was tabled in April, on Wednesday.

A new transfer rule, which goes into effect October 15, removes the previous requirement that athletes must seek permission from their current schools before letting other schools know they'd like to transfer.

According to the ACC's proposal: "The current rule often places coaches in a hard position to decide whether to play a student-athlete in a limited amount of competition or to preserve the student-athlete's season of eligibility".

American Football Coaches Association executive director Todd Berry lobbied for the redshirt rule change for years and reiterated it had "unanimous" support from the coaches. "It's a win for the student-athlete, and our coaches are tremendously excited about this opportunity". "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

It will begin this fall, with the 2018 season, wiping away the need for schools to petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt if a player had already played in a game.

The previous rule required permission for the athletes to be able to contact another school to receive a scholarship after transferring.

The Division I Council adopted a proposal this week that creates a new "notification-of-transfer" model.

"I applaud the NCAA for this rule change", Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente said Wednesday, in a statement released by the school.

"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", Miami AD Blake James said in a statement to the NCAA on the redshirt rule change.

"This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent", former Coastal Carolina football player Nicholas Clark said in a release.

As the attitudes toward the rights of student-athletes continue to loosen, these rules followed suit.

To address one specific concern, the Council specified that midyear enrollees can not use the exception to play a bowl game before their first academic term. Conferences, however, can still put rules in play that forbid student-athletes from transferring within the conference without sitting out a year or some other stipulation. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".

However, this could also be a way for coaches to get talented young players on the field while still preserving that fifth year of eligibility, allowing redshirt players to get game experience against "cupcake" teams or potentially play a factor in bowl games.

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