NCAA tweaks redshirt rules, allows players to preserve eligibility

Nebraska’s Scott Frost Bill Moos among fans of new NCAA transfer football redshirt rules

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

The NCAA is changing a rule that allows schools to block student-athletes from transferring to different programs. Freiermuth and Kuntz, who may have played regardless of the rule change, will now be able to showcase whether or not they can get the job done over returners like Danny Dalton, Jon Holland, and Nick Bowers early in the year, while Luketa, Gordon, and Humphries will all be able to get special teams work along with some September reps to see how they could contribute.

"This creates a safe place for student-athletes to have a conversation with their coaches and makes the whole process more transparent", Clark said. "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition".

Update: Also of note, the rule change will be in effect for the 2018-2019 season.

College athletes will no longer need permission from their coach or school to transfer and receive financial aid from another school.

The Division I Board of Directors developed a series of principles to guide the Transfer Working group, which included that any rule changes should "support the academic success of student-athletes", and "be based on data and create the least restrictive environment possible for student-athletes".

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

If a student enrolls midyear and plays in a postseason football game before or during their first term, the new rule does not apply. "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", council chair Blake James said. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".

A new policy adopted this week by the NCAA will allow student-athletes playing football at the Football Bowl Subdivision and Football Championship Subdivision levels to play in four games in a season without using a season of competition. Now, a player simply has to tell his school he wishes to transfer and the school will have two business days to put their name into a national transfer database.

Previously, only players who did not play a snap in a season or were sidelined by injury before playing in more than four games were generally granted redshirts by the NCAA.

The previous rule was scrutinized as transferring players were limited in what schools they were able to choose from after being blocked from specific programs.

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