Published: Thu, June 14, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

NCAA changes redshirt rule eligibility

NCAA changes redshirt rule eligibility

"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", Miami AD Blake James said in a statement to the NCAA on the redshirt rule change.

Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been an outspoken proponent of the NCAA changing its redshirt rules to allow younger players the chance to get some limited game experience without losing a full year of eligibility.

The NCAA Division I Council approved the change, effective October 15, on Wednesday.

The NCAA Division I Council says there will be a new "notification of transfer" model, which creates a system where a student informs his or her school of the desire to transfer, then the school is required to register the student in a national transfer database within two business days and then other coaches are free to contact that athlete. Conferences, however, can still put rules in play that forbid student-athletes from transferring within the conference without sitting out a year or some other stipulation.

Schools have drawn criticism for preventing a student-athlete from transferring to a program that better suits them, either academically or in their chosen sport.

The NCAA announced Wednesday that players will be allowed to play in up to four games a season while still retaining their redshirt status.

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But a change to that rule will now allow for some breathing room.

The NCAA has made several attempts in recent years to change transfer rules, but this is the first to come up with something substantive - if not comprehensive.

It will begin this fall, with the 2018 season, wiping away the need for schools to petition the NCAA for a medical redshirt if a player had already played in a game. The NCAA also adopted a new policy this week that prevents schools from telling student-athletes where they can and can't transfer to.

Transfer candidates previously needed permission to contact other programs. This is only one step removed from the most serious infraction, a Level 1 violation. Once the name has been entered into the database, other schools can reach out.

Former Coastal Carolina football player Nick Clark, who represents the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee on the Division I Council, likes the transparency of the new rule. The autonomy conferences will consider, by an electronic vote, two different proposals to allow schools to cancel the aid. As you can guess, coaches have been pushing for this for a while now and this is a pretty big victory for them and for players, who will all be able to see action on the field as freshman and not have it take a year away from them.

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