The football team from Boise State University was leading the Hawaiian team by 54 – 9 in a 2009 game in Honolulu, well on their way to an undefeated season and a berth at the Fiesta Bowl. Despite the 45-point lead late into the fourth quarter, Kellen Moore, the star quarterback, was still in the game, even though he had to deal with a bum ankle.
The reason he couldn’t leave the field? Mike Coughlin, Moore’s backup quarterback, had been hit in the head in the game’s first half and couldn’t return, and Joe Southwick, in the third-string position, was a genuine freshman who was redshirting.
This is just one of the multiple scenarios that coaches of college football games hoped to be able to avoid as they pushed for the new rule which will now allow players to participate in as many as four games and still use a redshirt season. This will replace the current rule which only allowed players a fifth year if they had sustained a season-ending injury while playing, or had appeared in 30% or less of a team’s games.
The rule change was tabled by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, in April, but was reconsidered at the Division I Council Meeting this week and passed. It will take effect for the 2018 season.
It received undivided approval from the American Football Coaches Association, which has pushed for the change since going under the leadership of Todd Berry as Executive Director. Players can now effectively play in 4-1/3rd seasons of college football over 5 years.
Punters who enjoy live AFL betting may well turn to college football should this go through as well, since it’s going to mean big changes for the athletes taking part, allowing them to give their best performances without risking injury and having to play through it.
This rule would have permitted the Broncos to put Southwick into that 2009 game in Hawaii, not only giving him valuable experience, but protecting Moore as well, without losing what became Southwick’s redshirt senior season for 2013.
The change will also allow for each new recruit to play at least a couple of snaps over the course of the 2018 season: whether as a test of their readiness, as a reward for their effort during practice, a chance to play in front of their family members, or if an emergency situation arises.
Although it took two different opportunities before the idea passed, this will now go a long way toward protecting student athletes without changing much how the games are played. Even one more year of the old rule would have been too much, coaches were stating. It was unfair to student-athletes, and changes needed to be made quickly, even if it’s just for football for now.
The NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee is expected to work with the Division I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee to study how a similar rule change could be implemented in other Division I sports.
Beginning in October, all Division I student-athletes will have the ability to transfer to a different school and receive a scholarship without asking their current school for permission.
The Division I Council adopted a proposal this week that creates a new “notification-of-transfer” model. This new system allows a student to inform his or her current school of a desire to transfer, then requires that school to enter the student’s name into a national transfer database within two business days. Once the student-athlete’s name is in the database, other coaches are free to contact that individual.
The new transfer rule takes effect October 15.