NCAA changes redshirt rule in college football

Former Alabama offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy works through drills during Alabama football practice Monday Nov. 28 2016 at the Hank Crisp Indoor Facility in Tuscaloosa Ala

Previously, that rule allowed players to obtain a medical redshirt if they played in four games or less than 30 percent of their games that season. Under previous rules, any participation in a game meant that a player's redshirt year, which offers them an extra year of competition at some point down the road, was used up. Last season, this opportunity may have led to redshirts like quarterback Tommy DeVito and cornerback Ifeatu Meliufonwu seeing playing time as they prepared to step into larger roles. Four games, to be exact.

The new rule could change how college coaches handle playing time for certain players, especially younger ones. The rule will put an end to a debatable practice wherein a DI coach would prevent an athlete wishing to transfer from contacting specific schools (usually rival schools).

"Conferences, however, still can make rules that are more restrictive than the national rule".

Nicholas Clark, a former football player at Coastal Carolina and a member of a student representative on the council, said the change promotes fairness and the well-being of college athletes.

The previous transfer rule, which required student-athletes to get permission from their current school to contact another school before they can receive a scholarship after transfer, was meant to discourage coaches from recruiting student-athletes from other Division I schools. "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.

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The NCAA made the announcement in this release on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the NCAA, the rule change is based in player-safety reasons.

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. The new process allows the athlete to notify his current school of his desire to transfer and will then require the school to enter the student's name into a database within two business days of the request.

Much of the talk about transfers focuses on the so-called year-in-residence, the one year a player in the most high-profile sports such as football and basketball must sit out after switching schools. More often than not, it limited players from speaking to other schools in the same conference or on future schedules.

The NCAA said legislation that governs when a Power Five school can reduce or cancel financial aid for an athlete may be looked at next week.

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