Are Changes Coming To The New NCAA Redshirt Policy?

September 26th, 2018 | by CollegeAD
Are Changes Coming To The New NCAA Redshirt Policy?
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NCAA Redshirt Policy
In June the Division I Council passed a new exception to NCAA redshirt policy, allowing football players to preserve a season of competition if, for example, injuries or other factors result in them competing in a small number of games. The new rule allows for football student-athletes to compete in up to four contests without losing a year of eligibility if they have not redshirted in the past.

The rule which has pushed for by coaches for a number of years is a welcomed change to the NCAA redshirt policy, but as we’ve seen over the past few weeks may have ushered in a new era of players opting to leave campus in pursuit of new opportunities. With the fourth game in the books for many programs, college football this week has seen a few high profile student-athletes opt to transfer in-season.

Notably, Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant announced his decision Wednesday to leave the Tigers program. Other Power Five programs such as Auburn and Oklahoma State have seen players take advantage of the new NCAA redshirt policy.

The moves beg the question, will the powers that be re-evaluate the rule and make changes or does the good of the new NCAA redshirt policy out way any potential pitfalls?

As one Power Five official told CollegeAD “it’s too early to tell” if any changes will be made, but added “we’re talking about transfers now, but at the end of the season we are likely to be talking about how younger players have benefited from limited opportunities to compete will still maintaining a season of eligibility.

It’s important to note, as NCAA spokesperson Michelle Hosick pointed out on Tuesday, does not change NCAA transfer rules.

A second Power Five official doesn’t expect any immediate changes and believes that these in-season transfers are a “derivative of change”. Another official expects perhaps the biggest change will not come in the form of a rules overhaul but in the way coaches recruit student-athletes, spending more time getting to know the young men they are recruiting.

As expected with something new, there are often unintended consequences, and as the first few weeks of the 2018 football season have shown us, the new NCAA redshirt policy is no different. Only time will tell if the four-game policy is here to stay but despite the spike in-season transfers the positives of a player not losing an entire year of eligibility for playing in a handful of games seem to outweigh the negatives.

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