(WIS) - The possibility of using players in more games without using their completing a season of eligibility is now a reality.
On Wednesday, the NCAA announced that Division I redshirt players will now be allowed to compete in four games without losing their redshirt status.
"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," Division I Blake James said. "Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition."
The new rule change will also give more players an opportunity to play as freshmen. That gives coaches an opportunity to see their newest signees in action more often.
"That's awesome," Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney said. "Are you kidding me? The fact that you have a chance to maybe play a kid that you do know you want to redshirt and, maybe it's a home game or something and, you get an opportunity to get them a little bit of experience. Or maybe you've got a guy that's just not ready but, all of a sudden, you've got a couple injuries and, by the end of the year, maybe you've got three games left and a guy can play and finish it out but yet not lose a whole year of eligibility.
"Maybe something in the bowl situation where maybe you've gotten injuries or whatever. You're down on your depth and there's a kid that maybe hasn't played all year and he can help you in the bowl game. I think it's great. I think it's great for the health of the student-athletes and just all those other reasons we talked about."
The rule was one of two new changes the NCAA announced Wednesday. The organization also announced a new rule that allows players to transfer to other schools without being restricted by the team they're currently playing for.
The new rule on redshirts will be in effect at the start of the 2018-19 season.