However, this could also be a way for coaches to get talented young players on the field while still preserving that fifth year of eligibility, allowing redshirt players to get game experience against "cupcake" teams or potentially play a factor in bowl games.
While it's unclear where most of the Class of 2018 stands in regard to early playing time, it stands to reason that down the stretch of this fall - as has been the case in the past - there will be players who can benefit from the four-game redshirt rule.
Transfer candidates previously needed permission to contact other programs. Conferences, however, can still put rules in play that forbid student-athletes from transferring within the conference without sitting out a year or some other stipulation.
The Division I council adopted a proposal that prevent schools from blocking transfer requests from student-athletes.
"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", Miami AD Blake James said in a statement to the NCAA on the redshirt rule change.
Per NCAA.org's Michelle Brutlag Hosick, the Division I Council approved a new "notification-of-transfer " rule that requires schools to enter a student who wishes to transfer into the national transfer database. As of now, schools can not cut off an athlete's financial aid based on intent to transfer at the end of a term - but the NCAA will vote on two different proposals that would allow institutions to end aid after an athlete's intent to transfer has been made clear.
Currently, an athlete must ask a coach for permission to contact other schools when choosing to transfer.
Berry was extremely optimistic about the proposal's chances following the AFCA Convention in January, was less positive in March and cautious in April, when the proposal was tabled over questions about timing, the number of games and potential application to other sports. "Division I student-athletes have five years to compete in up to four seasons of competition. Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition". If he played in one more game, he would not have been eligible for a medical redshirt.
The old rule was meant to discourage other schools from tampering with student-athletes.