Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post Eliminate the redshirt?

Friday May 25, 2007

The whole “will Caleb King redshirt” question reminded me of this proposal I read recently at CFR.

Players are currently given five years in which to play four. With ever-shrinking scholarship numbers in football as well as the temptation to turn pro after three years, it makes sense to allow the player to participate in all five years of his eligibility. Simplify.

The current rule creates a complex but silly decision for coaches each fall as they must weigh the value of playing a true freshman versus the cost of burning that year of eligibility. Eliminate that decision and let the player contribute during the entire course of his eligibility. For those who would redshirt for traditional reasons (either to get a good start on academics or develop physically), the coach still has the option to play them sparingly or not at all. I like this proposal too.

True stars will leave after three years, but you’ll have received a full three years from them (instead of potentially wasting one year on the bench). Others will have a decision to make after their fourth season. They might be ready to go pro at that point, or they might be ready to graduate and move on. Still others will create a new class of player – the true 5th year seniors who will become the elder statesmen of the college game.

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