Okay, sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Just a reminder, as we enter the era of the D’Eriq King Rule, that the four-game redshirt rule was something coaches pushed.

The ironic twist here: This is an unintended consequence of a rule that coaches exhaustingly fought to pass for years. The rule was intended to give players, namely freshmen, key experience while not removing a complete year of eligibility, and for coaches, it relieves them from a late-season dilemma of burning a kid’s redshirt while using them only a few plays. Todd Berry, the executive director of the American Football Coaches Association, was a leader in the movement to modify the redshirt rule. Berry and coaches discussed the measure for years before its adoption, and so far this year, he’s received rave reviews from coaches and administrators. “We knew there were going to be some of these circumstances,” Berry says.

Yeah, that’s right.  The funny thing about this now is that despite all the gnashing of teeth by coaches and administrators over recent developments following King’s decision — and let’s not forget that at heart, it was also Dana Holgorsen’s decision — there are still plenty of coaches who see nothing wrong.  A couple of selfish reasons for that:

If the first month of the season goes poorly, will coaches manage their roster in a way to gear up for next season and punt on this year? Maybe. “Now that King has done this, I think coaches are going to say, ‘Why didn’t I think of that?’” DiNardo, now an analyst for the Big Ten Network, said on the network last week. He offered an example of a senior offensive tackle who struggled through the first month of the season. The tackle could sit the rest of this season and be in better position next year to help the team…

… The Alabama and Ohio States of the world have nothing to worry about, he says, but programs like Houston and Rutgers might not be able to recover from such losses. “If a player did this at Alabama when I was there, Nick [Saban] would say ‘Don’t let the door hit you on the way out,’” McElroy says.

In short, it’s likely to be another vehicle for the rich to become richer.  Just like almost everything else that affects college athletics these days.

I keep wondering if shrinking FBS scholarship limits to FCS levels might, if not turn out exactly to be a magic bullet, have some effect on transfers.  If Saban’s got less roster spots to manage, it wouldn’t be so easy for him to jump on the fruits of creative redshirting.

Then, again, this may be a problem that sorts itself out over time.  It’s not like that hasn’t been the case before.

20 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

20 responses to “Okay, sure, it seemed like a good idea at the time.

  1. Former Fan

    Why not just give the kids 5 years to play and be done with it. Get rid of the entire concept of the redshirt and let em play for 5 if they want to.

    3 things I would like to see changed in college ball:

    Force the colleges to compete, financially for their labor.
    Get rid of the redshirt and give the kids 5 years to play 5.
    Get rid of national signing day and let kids and schools ink a LOI/contract at any time both are ready during the kids senior year.

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  2. Hobnail_Boot

    The real winners will be the kids who figure out how to get a car dealership handshake and play only 4 games their junior year.

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    • AlphaDawg

      It’s gonna be fun to watch Joe the Chevy Dealer sue a college player for breach of contract for not playing or for being kicked off the team for an arrest.

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  3. Texas Dawg

    Easy fix. Offer that 4 game redshirt ONLY in the true freshman year. After that it is just like years past. You play you burn a year unless you can apply for a medical hardship waiver.

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    • jhorne2000

      What is the problem we’re fixing ?

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      • spur21

        Stupidity and greed from the adults in charge.

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        • jhorne2000

          I don’t see stupidity or greed on the King deal, I’m sure it’s in there somewhere.

          If you want to say Holgerson and King are using the rule to an unfair advantage – I guess maybe that’s a problem. Let’s say we’ll get rid of all unfair advantages and see where that takes us ….

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          • spur21

            I was actually thinking about the college football landscape we have before us – not particularly this case – just in general.

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  4. MGW

    I expect that whole scholarship limit thing is going to become the elephant in the room real soon. It used to be just G5 level schools and below who would have been for it, but over the last 5-10 years recruiting has become so top heavy that a strong majority of P5 schools, if they know what’s best for them, should also be pushing for a reduction. I don’t think it would ever be as much as a reduction to the FCS limit (65 I think?), but something like going down to 75 or 80 would have a drastic effect on parity across the sport through the trickling down of those 5 kids per school. It’s easy for a majority of FBS schools to make an argument that in terms of fairness, it would definitely help, and financially it would drive up interest because more teams would have a legitimate shot at the playoff each year.

    Even a 5 scholarship reduction, though, would send about 650 kids from FBS down to FCS. That’s not actually an annual number but the number who, at any given time, would be in FCS when they would otherwise be FBS.

    On one hand, that takes away 650 kids’ dreams of playing at the highest level, but on the other, it reduces cost for most schools and makes the Title 9 issue less difficult for all.

    Again, elephant in the room real soon if most schools know what’s good for them.

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    • jhorne2000

      I’m not sure how difficult the Title 9 issue is , I assume most schools manage it properly.

      I’m on record saying the students have a great deal and I don’t buy any of their woe is me stories about not profiting on their collegiate athletic efforts.

      But I also don’t give a shit about a schools bottom line to the point where I would like them to be forced to offer less scholarships – when I know the net effect of that is probably more helicopters to visit the ones they do offer , and even more gilded facilities. Don’t get me wrong , I don’t mind choppers and recording studios , but damn , if we’re worried about costs I’d start there instead of cutting schollies.

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      • MGW

        The ability to comply with Title 9 isn’t the issue. The issue is what most schools have had to do to comply, which is cut other men’s sports because there is no such thing as women’s football.

        As to the rest of it, allow me to be more clear this go round:

        Fewer scholarships means the vast majority of schools will have more talented players than they do now. The difference in talent between the best schools and the worst will shrink. That carries lots of positive consequences for a large majority of schools, competitively and financially. So if they know what’s good for them, they’ll push for it.

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  5. jhorne2000

    I think it’s a good thing, and has the potential to make college football more interesting.

    Consider teams that don’t get top level talent , but have a strong year here and there due to player development and a particularly strong senior class. (Kentucky last year , comes to mind)

    It doesn’t level the playing field , but in the less interesting by the year era of the super teams , it’s nice to see the schools that want to be competitive have this as a useful tool.

    Besides that , who wants to leave college if they don’t have to ?

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  6. To me, barring injury this rule should only apply to true freshmen.

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  7. Dawgoholic

    So let’s reduce scholarships and thereby take even more money away from players as a whole. If you reduce from 85 to 65, that’s 20 for each of the 130 FBS programs – or 2600 full scholarships. If scholarships are worth $30,000 each, that’s $78 million taken from student athletes. Would not think you would advocate that Senator, now the NCAA on the other hand….

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    • jhorne2000

      Those schollies and all the perks have to be worth way more than 30 grand. I don’t like the idea of cutting them either, but I see points made here about easing transfer pressure and competitive balance.

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    • Money? Let me know what a college athlete can spend his scholarship on at the Kroger.

      BTW, there’s nothing about a proposal to reduce football scholarships that means schools couldn’t offer more scholarships in other athletic programs.

      Your faux concern is duly noted.

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      • jhorne2000

        Wait wait wait , are you suggesting money saved within the football program budget would be carved out and spent on other student athletes outside of football?…. your naivety is duly noted.

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  8. Sweet D

    Just being devil’s advocate but, once the rules change on NIL, won’t that provide the perfect workaround for reduced scholarships? If you pay a guy enough, he can pay his own way and walk on.

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