The NCAA announced several rules changes on Wednesday, and one of them specifically affects football eligibility. Starting in the 2018 season, the NCAA will allow football players to play in up to four games without losing a season of eligibility.
The rule will give players significantly more participation opportunities over the course of their careers. Players get five years for four seasons of competition, and this would allow players to preserve a redshirt year and still play up to four games because of “injuries or other factors.”
According to Miami athletic director Blake James, chair of the Division I Council, the move was made with fairness and health for players in mind:
“This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being. 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.”
The NCAA also introduced new transfer rules on Wednesday, allowing student-athletes to make contact, after declaring their intention to transfer, with other schools without getting permission from their current school.