Occasionally there are victories for common sense in college sports, and everybody wins in the process. The NCAA has announced a change to its college football participation rules that will allow players to appear in as many as four games without burning their redshirt. This rule change will be in effect beginning this season.
This has obvious benefits to players, freshmen in particular, who will now have opportunities to develop on the field without losing a year of eligibility in the process. And redshirt players forced into action by injuries will no longer be penalized for roster circumstances outside of their own control.
Coaches get additional flexibility with this rule—blowing out a FCS tomato can in early September will allow them to get some kids on the field who wouldn’t otherwise have been able to play. And if a season happens to go south, they’ll be able to start plugging in their younger prospects down the stretch. Decreased roster strain and the pressure that goes with it is a win for everybody.
It’ll be interesting to see how coaches approach the new options at their disposal.