In what is becoming a landmark day for college football rule changes, the NCAA has altered its redshirt policy for the sport.
The college athletics governing body has approved a new rule that allows players to play in up to four games in a season while maintaining their redshirt status.
The NCAA made the announcement in this release on Wednesday afternoon.
“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,” the statement reads. “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.”
Alabama coach Nick Saban had been one of the proponents of this policy, which allows young players to gain valuable in-game experience while providing an added insurance policy for injuries that occur throughout the season.
“This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being,” said council chair Blake James, who is the athletic director at Miami. “Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries.
“Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition.”