Get ready to see many more freshman playing college football.
The NCAA announced Wednesday afternoon players (of all classes) will be able to participate in up to four games without losing their ability to redshirt for that season.
The change goes into effect this fall and applies to the Football Bowl Subdivision and the Football Championship Subdivision, so Ohio State coach Urban Meyer and Dayton coach Rick Chamberlin will both have the option to take advantage.
RELATED: Transfer rules get major tweak, too
Said Division I council chairman Blake James, who is also director of athletics at the University of Miami (Fla.):
“This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being. 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,” James said. “Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition.”
Previously players would lose a full season of eligibility if they participated in one play — unless there were mitigating circumstances such as injury.
Now coaches will have the flexibility to get experience for young players without losing a full season. That could come early in the season before conference competition ramps up or later when depth inevitably has taken a hit from injuries.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for players to progress as a season goes on and be more deserving of/ready to handle playing time in November than they were in September when a decision to redshirt was made.
This change was announced the same day transfer rules for all sports were amended.
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