Little Johnny Redshirt

Here’s an AFCA proposal that actually makes sense.

In an announcement Wednesday, AFCA executive director Todd Berry said a proposal has been developed that would allow a player to be given redshirt so long as he’s played in four games or less in a season. Those four games could come at anytime — beginning of the season, middle or end — so long as he “doesn’t play again for any reason that season.”

The proposal would eliminate medical redshirts and their subjective nature. Under the proposal, whether a student-athletes plays in four games or does not, the timetable of five years to play four seasons would remain intact.

Hard to argue with that, although Berry has to overplay his cards for some reason with this:

“Little Johnny, he’s not ready to play. But Little Johnny’s mom and dad are in the stands. Every data point says when a kid is engaged in football during his collegiate years, the better he does academically, the better he does socially,” Berry told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

“You got a chance to put Little Johnny out there at the close of a ballgame. So what? That shouldn’t burn his eligibility. If Little Johnny goes out and doesn’t play in the first five games because he wasn’t ready to play and then all the sudden you stick him out there in the sixth game of the season and he tears his knee up and is gone for the season, he’s burned his eligibility. That is not fair to Little Johnny.”

Sigh.  Are these guys so insecure that they have to pollute every proposal with a “do it for the kids”?

In any event, greater flexibility and less hypocrisy adds up to a win-win in my book.  Which means it’ll probably get chewed over by a couple of NCAA committees for the next two years and never come to fruition.  That’s a real shame for Little Johnny and his folks.



Filed under College Football

6 responses to “Little Johnny Redshirt

  1. Gaskilldawg

    This proposal looks to me as an acknowledgement of the sometimes fraudulent nature of medical redshirt. See, e.g. Kindley, Solomon. “Hey, Solomon, how’s your ankle feeling. Fine, Coach. No, you don’t understand. How is your ankle feeling?”


  2. DawgPhan

    The little johnny bit is too much.


    • Tommy

      My first thought as well. “Little Johnny” can also fight and die in Afghanistan. Maybe there’s a less condescending and patronizing way to refer to him?


  3. I don’t understand why they don’t just go to 5 years of eligibility and get rid of the redshirt. Most people take more than 4 years to graduate anyway.


  4. Bright Idea

    Why not 5 years to play 48 regular season games? Not many would use it but it would cover the devastating injuries that take longer recoveries.


  5. The little Johnny should be dropped. How bout something a little less condescending.