For the longest of times the NCAA hasn’t embraced change when it comes to the redshirt rule for college football players.
In the past, if a freshman played even one snap, their redshirt eligibility would be burned up.
On Wednesday, the NCAA Division I Rule Council announced a major change in this redshirt rule, which will now be favorable to freshmen and their programs.
Starting in 2018, freshmen can play up to four games without burning their redshirt eligibility.
In a statement, University of Miami (Florida) athletic director, council chair, Blake James said “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. Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition.”
Michigan fans are thinking this rule change came a year too late, as Michigan had only 5 returning starters in 2018 and quarterback woes. Redshirt years were burnt that wouldn’t have been if the rule was implemented a year prior, and quarterback Dylan McCaffrey likely would have seen some game action.
The past aside, this is a good rule change that is logical, fair, and reasonable. The new rule allows a player who barely plays in a season to maintain his redshirt eligibility.
Expect Michigan and other programs to use the hell out of this new rule when the opportunity presents itself, due to injury, blowout wins or losses, etc.