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 announced two major rules changes to the college athletics landscape Wednesday.
The new rule was passed with players that are struck down by early-season injuries in mind, but will also allow players that are used sparingly to prolong their college careers, creating more opportunity for athletes to contribute on the field of competition. The new rule was developed based on a series of principles the Division I Board of Directors developed for the working group, including any rule changes should support the academic success of student-athletes, be based on data and create the least restrictive environment possible for student-athletes.
The NCAA also announced a new rule that allows football players who play in up to four games to still have the option of redshirting.
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As the attitudes toward the rights of student-athletes continue to loosen, these rules followed suit.
"I applaud the NCAA for this rule change", Virginia Tech football coach Justin Fuente said Wednesday, in a statement released by the school.
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.
Previously, only players who did not play a snap in a season or were sidelined by injury before playing in more than four games were generally granted redshirts by the NCAA.
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Under previous NCAA rules, programs could deny student-athletes permission to seek transfers to schools for any reason, no matter how inconsequential.
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. Now, a player simply has to tell his school he wishes to transfer and the school will have two business days to put their name into a national transfer database. Then, other coaches are free to contact the player. The rule change ends the controversial practice in which some coaches or administrators would prevent students from having contact with specific schools. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete".
The new "notification-of-transfer" model will take effect on October 15, 2018. Now, coaches will be able to use a true freshman on a limited basis in up to four games and that player would still have four years of additional eligibility.
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