NCAA passes 4-game redshirt rule; what it means for Syracuse football

NCAA passes 4-game redshirt rule; what it means for Syracuse football

The NCAA announced changes to rules involving transfers and redshirt procedures Wednesday. The NCAA also adopted a new policy this week that prevents schools from telling student-athletes where they can and can't transfer to. Schools would often block permission to conference opponents, rivals or programs that recruited prospects out of high school, which would often force student-athletes to transfer down to junior college before landing at their school of choice.

The Transfer Working Group first introduced the proposal in fall 2017, aiming to detach a student-athlete's pursuit of transferring to a different school from the process of receiving a scholarship at the new college or university. Then, other coaches are free to contact the player.

The new "notification-of-transfer" model will take effect on October 15, 2018. The rule changes prevents coaches and administrators from preventing athletes to contact certain schools.

The Division I Board of Directors developed a series of principles to guide the Transfer Working group, which included that any rule changes should "support the academic success of student-athletes", and "be based on data and create the least restrictive environment possible for student-athletes". While those discussions continue, that rule has yet to be changed.

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To address one specific concern, the Council specified that midyear enrollees can not use the exception to play a bowl game before their first academic term.

"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.

Even with the new rule, conferences could still restrict athletes from transferring within the league. As part of the rule change approved this week, tampering with a current student-athlete at another school is now a potential Level 2 violation which could bring penalties from the NCAA's Infractions Committee. "This will clean the process up and give more influence and flexibility to the student-athlete". "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". There's still more work left to be done as there are a handful of other proposals on the table for Power Five conferences to vote on in the coming weeks that affect things like scholarships and financial aid.

However, this could also be a way for coaches to get talented young players on the field while still preserving that fifth year of eligibility, allowing redshirt players to get game experience against "cupcake" teams or potentially play a factor in bowl games.

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