The push to modify the redshirt restrictions in college football could be gaining some more traction as college football moves into its offseason mode. A proposal made by the ACC would allow any player to play up to four games in a given season and still have the ability to retain a redshirt for that particular season if a redshirt has not already been burned by the player.
Chris Vannini of The Athletic reports the proposal submitted by the ACC would go into effect in the 2018 season but would not be retroactive if the proposal results in a formal rule change.
The AFCA has been stumping for such a rule change regarding the redshirt policies for over a year now, and it would seem there is enough momentum to see the proposal take the next step toward a formal change in the rulebook used by the NCAA. In essence, you would still have five years to play four seasons, but the ability to preserve a year for a player who may be injured early in the season or a young player getting a redshirt year burned by playing late in the year to fill in the depth chart would be a nice benefit to the player. The adjusted rule would also allow younger players the opportunity to play later in the season without wasting a redshirt year. Not only does that give players who have taken the bulk of the season to adjust to the college game and train with the program, but it also allows teams to fill roster spots in need of a boost in depth due to injuries during the course of the season.
Any changes to the rulebook would have to be recommended by the College Football Rules Committee during their annual spring meetings (usually in March). Any recommendations are then reviewed by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, and that panel will decide whether or not the proposal will become an official rule change for the upcoming season. That would take place later in the spring as well (typically sometime in April). This idea of adjusting the redshirt rule has been floating around for a while and this may be the time for it to officially be modified with growing support. If a couple other power conferences endorse the proposal, then count on this rule being changed this spring.
Because the rule would not go into effect until this year and not be retroactive, any player who has played four games or fewer would not be able to retroactively have that season ruled as a redshirt season. However, any player who has not burned a redshirt yet will be eligible to use the new rule, including any incoming players.