Written By Sammy Jacobs (@Hoosier_Huddle)
The NCAA passed a common sense rule that changes how redshirts can be used on Wednesday morning. According to a release from the NCAA freshman Division I football players can play up to four games without losing a year of eligibility, "The new exception allows football players to preserve a season of competition if, for example, injuries or other factors result in them competing in a small number of games."
While the rule just makes sense, Miami (OH) athletic director and council chair said in the release that, "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,” James said. “Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition."
Many, if not all, teams in the NCAA should benefit from this rule. In Indiana's instance it will help with building depth, keeping players healthy and having potential reinforcements available at the end of the season. Taking a look at the Hoosiers specifically, there are a few instances over the last couple of years where this rule would have helped IU.
Looking back at the 2017 season, there were a number of instances where having freshman available could have saved some players from injury. In the game against Georgia Southern IU lost a few crucial players in a game that was decided by halftime and were still using starters late in the game due to a lack of available depth. Had this rule been in effect then, IU may have saved some hits on Morgan Ellison by using Craig Nelson. In addition they could have used those valuable game reps for players like Nick Tronti (now departed), Caleb Jones, Mo Burnam and many more.
The Hoosiers can take full advantage of this season as the true freshman quarterback Mike Penix, who would probably redshirt this year, could use game reps. It should also help with keeping players fresh as some freshman may be able to step in to open the season, while others may be ready toward the end of the season after developing in practice.
Other Rule Changes for 2018
- 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 addition of a 10-second runoff was approved when instant replay overturns the ruling on the field inside of one minute in either half, and the correct ruling would not have stopped the game clock.
- The panel approved the continuation of an experimental collaborative decision-making model for instant replay that is not limited to the press box in the stadium. For example, officials involved in the replay process could be located in a conference office.
- Leaping rules on field goals and extra points were adjusted to mirror similar rules regarding leaping the shield on punting plays. It is illegal to leap over the frame of the body of an opponent.
- On successful field goals, penalty enforcement will be the same as on made extra points. Namely, all personal fouls and unsportsmanlike conduct fouls by the defending team will have the option to be enforced on the ensuing kickoff.
- The NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved altering football’s kickoff rules to allow the receiving team to fair catch the kick inside the 25-yard line and have it result in a touchback.