This, on the other hand, is a big deal.

The redshirt rule’s been changed.

College athletes competing in Division I football can participate in up to four games in a season without using a season of competition, the Division I Council decided this week at its meeting in Indianapolis.

Division I student-athletes have five years to compete in up to four seasons of competition. The new exception allows 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 NCAA claims this benefits both coaches and student-athletes and for once, I think that’s right.  That’s probably used up the quota for the rest of the decade, but, hey, at least it’s something.

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23 Comments

Filed under The NCAA

23 responses to “This, on the other hand, is a big deal.

  1. Dolly Llama

    Man, that is good news, and a surprise to me at least. Does the change address bowl/playoff games, or would those just count as part of the few games they could play in without penalty?

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  2. Lrgk9

    Gonna benefit the top programs.

    If the NCAA has to pay players down the road, the redshirt rule would have been in restraint of trade – this will lengthen the rope.

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  3. David K

    So does this mean everyone gets an influx of bench help for the last 4 games of the season?

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  4. GruvenDawg

    I know we need to get Justin Fields ready to go, but is there anyway to plan to ONLY get him into 4 games, preserve the redshirt and get some separation from Fromm? We are so top heavy at QB with no separation. Or do we have to get another qb on roster and try to redshirt him next year with 4 allocated games? Is he leaving in 3- 4 years regardless so the redshirt doesn’t matter anyways.

    Something like this?
    Game 1 USC – make everyone for the rest of the season have to prepare for him.
    Game 2 Aub

    Game 3 and 4 some combination of:
    SEC championship game,
    Bowl game, Playoff game, or Championship game

    If we go on the same run as last year and make it to the finals again (it could happen) he would only be able to play in 2 of the 3 if we play him against Auburn and USC.

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    • Fields isn’t redshirting regardless of what the new rule is. I imagine Chaney and Coley already have the package of plays they intend to use with Fields. I don’t know if he’ll play in every game, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they will have a wrinkle in every game plan designed purely for him.

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      • GruvenDawg

        Agreed, I guess it is more wishful thinking on my part. My idea also assumes no injuries or tweaks to Fromm that might keep him out for a series or two in a game. I know Kirby is going to have to get Fields ready to play regardless with only two scholarship QB’s on roster. Just seems like a shame if you could get him meaningful playing time AND keep a red shirt.

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      • Thorn Dawg

        The only way Fields redshirts is if he suffers a major injury before the fifth game.

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        • Otto

          I disagree and can see Fields getting a redshirt by playing in 4 games or less.

          Granted Eason was injured but he only played in 3 including the season opener to App St.

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          • SlobberKnocker

            I think the two situations are apples and oranges. One, Eason already had a year of experience, meaning he was ready to play and the coaches knew what he offered. Two, Eason offered the same basic skill set as Fromm so, using him wasn’t a “change of pace”. Fields on the other hand needs the experience and provides different threats than Fromm.

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            • Otto

              It is certainly a balancing act between getting snaps to learn vs red shirting and having a 5 start possibly another year. If it were a RB I’d say play him but QB Fromm could be a 4 year starter leaving Fields 1 year if he stays. I would be tempted to go directly to the 3rd stringer against Austin Pea but give Fields substantial time against MTSU. It would be nice to see Fields come in very late in the 3rd if UGA could dismantle Vandy again.

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      • TXBaller

        Fields redshirts under these new rules….unless Fromm flounders or gets hurt. Winner?? UGA!

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    • Argondawg

      Wouldn’t a number of snaps played be an even better measurement. Gets the young ones playing time all year and gives the veterans rest in blowouts.

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  5. I give the NCAA its fair share of grief over its anti-competitive behavior, hypocrisy, and general tone deafness to what’s going on in the world, but I have to give it to them on this issue. They got it right … the only thing that would have been better would be just to allow every student-athlete to have 5 years of eligibility, period.

    Good on you, NCAA. I bet Kirby already had one of his analysts working with internal compliance staff to design how they plan to implement this rule.

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    • PTC DAWG

      Your last paragraph, my first thought, another job opening.

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    • doofusdawg

      My first thought was just like you… five years of eligibility. But then I thought that coaches would find a way to take advantage at the expense of the kids. I agree that this compromise probably is the best for everyone and it puts the emphasis on the coach to manage the opportunities.

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  6. Bulldog Joe

    Why do I keep thinking there is a four-game tryout, I mean “walk-on” program ready to be announced in Tuscaloosa?

    That 2019 Duke – New Mexico State – Ole Miss – Southern Miss opening schedule looks tailor-made for some low-risk player processing.

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    • Dolly Llama

      I guess when you have Alabama’s depth that’s a great strategy, but I imagine a good many programs’ tendencies will be toward keeping these players in their back pockets as depth insurance against injuries. Depending on the player and the individual depth charts at those players’ positions, the smart programs will incorporate both strategies for varying situations.

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  7. Seems like a good idea for players and coaches. Maybe it will be a tryout for some. Some players might figure out, oh I can not make it here, but others can say, hey I can make it here. Of course, some will mess it up.

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  8. Mayor

    Some other guys on the blog mentioned Jacob Eason and that got me to thinking. Is this rule retroactive? I’m wondering if there is a way Eason can get another year out of this? Senator? Beuller? Anyone?

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    • GruvenDawg

      My understanding is the rule starts with the 2018 season. Eason will take his redshirt this year while he sits out at Washington so no harm no foul. He will have 2 years of eligibility to play there.

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  9. CB

    With regard to retroactivity, is that in play and does anyone know whether it will free up a year for any of the current roster that may have played sparingly during their first season? Doesn’t have to be class of 2017.

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