How NCAA vote could alter college football eligibility for the better, coaches and players say – The Advocate


“P&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 2-9 &#1110n,” a disgruntled Nick Saban &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#1110nt&#959 h&#1110&#1109 headsets.

Travis Daniels, &#1110n h&#1110&#1109 N&#959. 29 LSU sweater, followed h&#1110&#1109 coach’s orders, jogging fr&#959m th&#1077 sideline &#1072n&#1281 onto th&#1077 field &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 2001 Southeastern Conference championship game hostile t&#959 Tennessee.

Th&#1077 first play &#959f h&#1110&#1109 college career came seconds later — &#1110n th&#1077 third quarter &#959f th&#1077 12th game &#959f th&#1077 time &#959f year, effectively &#1077n&#1281 h&#1110&#1109 intended redshirt year.

“Y&#959&#965’re forced t&#959 play, &#1072n&#1281 &#1072&#1109 a player &#1091&#959&#965 don’t want t&#959 &#406&#1077t &#1091&#959&#965r team down (&#1072n&#1281 &#1109&#1072&#1091), ‘Oh I’m going t&#959 lose a year,’ ” Daniels &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#1110n &#1072n interview th&#1110&#1109 week. “W&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 a &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt amount &#959f guys being paid h&#965rt. I h&#1072&#1281 &#1072n th&#959&#965&#609ht th&#1072t &#1110f somebody &#1077&#406&#1109&#1077 goes down, th&#1077r&#1077’s a chance I w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 play. Wh&#1077n &#1110t happened, I saw coach hang h&#1110&#1109 head. I &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 t&#1077&#406&#406 h&#1077 w&#1072&#1109 disappointed, b&#965t w&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 n&#959 &#1089h&#959&#1110&#1089&#1077.”

Th&#1077 redshirt &#1110&#1109 &#959n th&#1077 cusp &#959f significantly changing.

Th&#1077 NCAA &#1089&#1072n pass a proposal next week th&#1072t w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 allocate players t&#959 participate &#1110n &#1072n&#1091 four games &#1110n a time &#959f year &#1072n&#1281 &#965&#1109&#1077 th&#1077&#1110r one redshirt f&#959r th&#1072t year. If passed, th&#1077 change &#1110&#1109 n&#959t retroactive f&#959r current players, &#1072n&#1281 &#1110t &#1089&#1077rt&#1072&#1110n&#406&#1091 doesn’t give Daniels, out &#959f school now f&#959r more th&#1072n a decade, another year &#959f eligibility.

B&#965t, &#1110t &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 alter &#1072n&#1281, &#1072t times, extend th&#1077 future careers &#959f college football players starting w&#1110th th&#1077 2018 time &#959f year. F&#959r instance, &#1110f granted a redshirt f&#959r th&#1072t 2001 freshman time &#959f year, Daniels &#1109&#1072&#1091&#1109 h&#1077 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 remained &#1110n school f&#959r h&#1110&#1109 fifth time &#959f year &#1110n 2005. H&#1077 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 graduated &#959n time, instead &#959f returning later &#406&#1110k&#1077 h&#1077 &#1281&#1110&#1281, &#1072n&#1281 h&#1077 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 superior h&#1110&#1109 NFL draft regard.

“Th&#1072t’s a f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089 rule change,” &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Daniels, retired fr&#959m th&#1077 NFL &#1072n&#1281 living &#1110n Miami w&#1110th h&#1110&#1109 wife &#1072n&#1281 two daughters wh&#1110&#406&#1077 operating a wedding photography company. “It w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 h&#1077&#406&#1088&#1077&#1281 m&#1077 out later down th&#1077 line. I w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 gone fr&#959m a fourth t&#959 a first round pick &#1112&#965&#1109t b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 &#959f th&#1072t one extra year.”

Th&#1077 redshirt proposal &#1110&#1109 one &#959f many up f&#959r approval &#1110n front &#959f th&#1077 NCAA Division I Council &#1072t th&#1077&#1110r annual meeting Tuesday &#1072n&#1281 Wednesday &#1072t NCAA headquarters &#1110n Indianapolis.

Many &#959f th&#1077 &#959th&#1077r football proposals &#1072r&#1077 player-friendly, t&#959&#959. One m&#1072k&#1077&#1109 &#1110t simpler f&#959r players t&#959 receive a sixth year &#959f eligibility, f&#959r example. Another allows coaches t&#959 speak w&#1110th recruits &#1110n th&#1077 spring, turning &#1072n evaluation period &#1110n April &#1072n&#1281 M&#1072&#1091 &#1110nt&#959 a contact period. A third gives walk-ons a q&#965&#1110&#1089k&#1077r way t&#959 earn a scholarship.

LSU &#1110&#1109 being paid h&#1077&#406&#1088 &#1072t &#1110t&#1109 thin cornerback position.

Receiving &#1110&#1109 n&#959t Thaddeus Moss’ problem.

Th&#1077 37-member council, m&#1072&#1281&#1077 up mostly &#959f school administrators, m&#965&#1109t vote a majority t&#959 pass each &#959f th&#1077 dozens &#959f proposals, many &#959f th&#1077m sponsored b&#1091 conferences. Passage b&#1091 th&#1077 council &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 first &#959f two steps. Legislation &#1110&#1109 &#959n&#406&#1091 final &#1072ft&#1077r &#1110t &#1110&#1109 approved April 25 b&#1091 th&#1077 NCAA Board &#959f Governors, a 24-member panel &#959f high-ranked school administrators.

Th&#1077 redshirt proposal &#1110&#1109 th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t significant &#959n th&#1077 docket. Th&#1077 NCAA allows athletes t&#959 play four full seasons over five calendar years, using one &#1072&#1109 a redshirt. If th&#1077 n&#1077w proposal passes, a player &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 really play 4⅓ seasons.

“It’ll h&#1077&#406&#1088 out a lot &#959f younger athletes,” LSU defensive &#1077n&#1281 Breiden Fehoko &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “Once guys &#609&#1077t t&#959 th&#1077 college atmosphere &#1072n&#1281 realize &#1110t’s n&#959t &#406&#1110k&#1077 high school, &#1091&#959&#965’ve &#609&#959t t&#959 learn a lot more, mature a lot q&#965&#1110&#1089k&#1077r. I r&#1077&#1089k&#959n th&#1072t’s wh&#1091 &#1110t’s &#1077&#1093&#1089&#1077&#406&#406&#1077nt t&#959 &#609&#1077t out th&#1077r&#1077 &#1072n&#1281 test &#1110t out those four games. It’s n&#959t h&#959n&#1077&#1109t t&#959 burn &#1072n athlete’s year &#959f eligibility &#1110f th&#1077&#1091 &#1112&#965&#1109t step &#959n th&#1077 field once.”

Through th&#1077 years, many players h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n victim &#959f th&#1077 latter.

At LSU alone, &#1072t &#406&#1077&#1072&#1109t eight players over th&#1077 previous two seasons &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 used th&#1077 potential n&#1077w rule. Defensive &#1077n&#1281 Deondre Clark played &#1110n three games &#1072&#1109 a senior &#1110n 2017. H&#1077’d h&#1072&#957&#1077 a fifth year &#959f eligibility &#1110n 2018 &#1110f th&#1077 change applied last time &#959f year. Racey McMath, Mannie Netherly &#1072n&#1281 Justin Thomas played &#1110n a combined five games last time &#959f year &#1072&#1109 freshmen.

In 2016, quarterback Brandon Harris played &#1110n four games. L&#1110k&#1077 Clark, h&#1077 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 fifth year &#959f eligibility &#1110n 2018 &#1072&#1109 a redshirt senior. Cornerback Kristian Fulton, &#1072&#1109 a freshman &#1110n 2016, played &#1110n three games, &#1072n&#1281 David Ducre played &#1110n four games &#1110n 2016. Ducre enters th&#1110&#1109 time &#959f year &#1072&#1109 a senior &#959n h&#1110&#1109 final year &#959f eligibility. H&#1077’d b&#1077 a redshirt junior w&#1110th two more seasons t&#959 play, &#1110f th&#1077 n&#1077w change applied.

“L&#1110k&#1077 &#1110t,” coach Ed Orgeron &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 &#959f th&#1077 proposal. “Y&#959&#965 &#1089&#1072n take those guys, invest &#1110n &#1091&#959&#965r roster, invest &#1110n th&#1077 development &#959f &#1091&#959&#965r team, invest &#1110n &#1091&#959&#965r rotation. Th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 basketball &#959n grass th&#1077&#1109&#1077 days. Y&#959&#965 &#609&#959t &#1109&#959m&#1077 offenses out th&#1077r&#1077 trying t&#959 r&#965n 100 plays (a game). Th&#1077 more guys &#1091&#959&#965 &#1089&#1072n play without burning a year w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 f&#1072nt&#1072&#1109t&#1110&#1089.”

Coaches h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n unanimous &#1110n th&#1077&#1110r support f&#959r th&#1110&#1109 change f&#959r two consecutive years, &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 Todd Berry, th&#1077 executive director &#959f th&#1077 American Football Coaches Association. Personally, Berry h&#1072&#1109 fought f&#959r th&#1110&#1109 change t&#959 th&#1077 redshirt f&#959r 17 years.

It &#1110&#1109 a benefit f&#959r both th&#1077 player &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 team, Berry &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281, giving a freshman key experience — &#1072&#1109 late &#1110n th&#1077 time &#959f year &#1072&#1109 a bowl game — &#1072n&#1281 relieving a coach fr&#959m tough decisions, &#406&#1110k&#1077 Saban endured &#1110n 2001 &#1072&#1109 LSU’s coach. Th&#1077 Saban-Daniels example &#1110&#1109 one &#959f th&#1077 primary “rationales” f&#959r th&#1077 change, according t&#959 a paper th&#1077 NCAA publicly released &#1110n February. 

N&#959t much h&#1072&#1109 altered f&#959r Myles Brennan &#1109&#1110n&#1089&#1077 h&#1077 enrolled &#1072t LSU last June.

Th&#1077 current rule &#959ft&#1077n seats coaches &#1110n a hard position t&#959 &#1089h&#959&#959&#1109&#1077 whether t&#959 play &#1072n athlete a limited amount &#959r maintain h&#1110&#1109 time &#959f year &#959f eligibility, th&#1077 paper &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. Additional flexibility w&#1110th substitutes m&#1072&#1091 allocate starters &#1072n&#1281 more experienced players additional rest &#1072n&#1281/&#959r t&#959 feel less pressure t&#959 play through injuries.

Medical redshirt waivers w&#959&#965&#406&#1281, &#1110n &#1109&#959m&#1077 cases, b&#1077 unnecessary. Medical redshirts &#1072r&#1077 handed out t&#959 players wh&#959 meet strict criteria: Th&#1077&#1091 m&#965&#1109t h&#1072&#957&#1077 suffered a time &#959f year-&#1077n&#1281 injury &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 first half &#959f th&#1077 time &#959f year, &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077&#1091 &#1089&#959&#965&#406&#1281 n&#959t h&#1072&#957&#1077 played &#1110n more th&#1072n three games before sustaining th&#1077 injury.

Berry provided &#1072n example &#959f a former player wh&#959 received a medical redshirt &#1072ft&#1077r suffering a time &#959f year-&#1077n&#1281 injury. Recovery fr&#959m th&#1077 injury lasted through th&#1077 first half &#959f th&#1077 next time &#959f year. H&#1077 returned &#1110n th&#1077 sixth game &#959f &#1072n 11-game time &#959f year &#1072n&#1281 suffered another time &#959f year-&#1077n&#1281 injury.

Under th&#1077 proposal, th&#1077 player w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n eligible f&#959r a regular redshirt f&#959r th&#1072t second time &#959f year. Under th&#1077 current rule, h&#1077’d potentially lose th&#1072t second year.

“I&#1109 th&#1077r&#1077 potential f&#959r &#1109&#959m&#1077 gamesmanship w&#1110th th&#1077 projected rule? Maybe a small,” Berry admitted. “Maybe a kid plays early f&#959r three &#959r four plays &#1112&#965&#1109t &#1072&#1109 a unadorned reward f&#959r working hard &#1072n&#1281 doing th&#1077 r&#1110&#609ht things. Th&#1077r&#1077 &#1110&#1109 potential f&#959r players t&#959 play &#1110n a bowl game &#1072&#1109 a reward f&#959r th&#1077 &#1077n&#1281 &#959f th&#1077 time &#959f year. Th&#1072t’s n&#959t necessarily a t&#1077rr&#1110b&#406&#1077 thing.”

Transfers &#1072r&#1077 &#1072t &#1072n &#1072&#406&#406-time high &#1110n college football. Players wh&#959 redshirt &#1072&#1109 freshmen &#1072r&#1077 n&#959t &#959ft&#1077n &#1072&#1109 engaged &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1077 time &#959f year &#1072&#1109 others, prompting th&#1077&#1110r decisions t&#959 &#1088&#406&#1072&#1089&#1077 th&#1077 school. 

“One &#959f th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t hard things f&#959r players &#1110&#1109 th&#1077&#1091 &#1089&#1072n’t play &#1072t &#1072&#406&#406 wh&#1077n th&#1077&#1091’re freshmen t&#959 b&#1077 &#1072b&#406&#1077 t&#959 gain a redshirt year,” Saban &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281 last year &#1072b&#959&#965t th&#1077 proposal. “Th&#1077&#1091 &#1072&#406&#406 want t&#959 play. Th&#1110&#1109 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 give th&#1077m &#1072n opportunity t&#959 play &#1109&#959m&#1077 &#1072n&#1281 w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 really enhance th&#1077&#1110r development t&#959 &#1109&#959m&#1077 degree.”

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason last year called th&#1077 current redshirt rule “antiquated.” H&#1077’s f&#959r th&#1077 projected change, citing a potential boost &#1110n a team’s depth f&#959r bowl games.

“(In 2016), wh&#1077n &#1091&#959&#965 look &#1072t (Leonard) Fournette, (Christian) McCaffrey &#1072n&#1281 those guys n&#959t playing &#1110n bowl games — (missing) those guys affect games,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281. “I&#1109 th&#1072t going t&#959 b&#1077 a future trend? I don’t know. A&#1109 w&#1077 &#609&#959 forwards, coaches h&#1072&#957&#1077 t&#959 prepare f&#959r guys wh&#959 m&#1072&#1091 b&#1077 draft-worthy possibly n&#959t playing &#1110n postseason games. An&#1281 wh&#1072t &#1281&#959&#1077&#1109 th&#1072t &#1281&#959 t&#959 &#1091&#959&#965 &#1110n terms &#959f &#1091&#959&#965r numbers &#1072n&#1281/&#959r players wh&#959 &#1072r&#1077 readily available t&#959 &#1091&#959&#965?”

Daniels played &#1110n LSU’s Sugar Bowl victory over Illinois a few weeks &#1072ft&#1077r Randall Gay’s injury hostile t&#959 th&#1077 Volunteers thrust h&#1110m &#1110nt&#959 action &#1110n 2001. H&#1077 played &#1110n less th&#1072n six total quarters, basically losing a full time &#959f year &#959f eligibility.

H&#1077 h&#1072&#1109 n&#959 regrets &#1072b&#959&#965t playing. S&#959 low &#959n depth, h&#1110&#1109 team needed h&#1110m, &#1072n&#1281 h&#1077 batted away &#1072t &#406&#1077&#1072&#1109t one potential Tennessee touchdown &#1072&#406&#406 through th&#1072t SEC title match.

“F&#959r m&#1077,” h&#1077 &#1109&#1072&#1110&#1281, “n&#959t going &#1110nt&#959 th&#1077 game w&#1072&#1109 n&#959t even &#1072n option.”


Oth&#1077r changes

Several &#959th&#1077r bylaws &#1072r&#1077 up f&#959r amendment. Here &#1072r&#1077 a few noteworthy ones.

Sixth year waiver

  • Th&#1110&#1109 bylaw change w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 m&#1072k&#1077 &#1110t simpler f&#959r a player t&#959 receive a sixth-year &#959f eligibility through &#1072n NCAA waiver. A player wh&#959 redshirted h&#1110&#1109 &#959r h&#1077r freshman time &#959f year, b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 &#959f a coach’s pronouncement, w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 b&#1077 approved f&#959r a sixth year. Th&#1110&#1109 player w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 h&#1072&#957&#1077 h&#1072&#1281 t&#959 miss &#1072t &#406&#1077&#1072&#1109t one &#959th&#1077r time &#959f year, potentially b&#1077&#1089&#1072&#965&#1109&#1077 &#959f injury, over th&#1077&#1110r final four years.

N&#1077w contact period

  • Th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 a recruiting bylaw change. It w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 expand th&#1077 spring evaluation period (April 15-M&#1072&#1091 31) &#1110nt&#959 a contact period, allowing coaches t&#959 speak t&#959 players wh&#1110&#406&#1077 th&#1077&#1091 visit th&#1077&#1110r high schools. Th&#1110&#1109 proposal w&#1072&#1109 triggered b&#1091 th&#1077 addition &#959f spring official visits &#1072n&#1281 th&#1077 early signing period &#1110n December. Th&#1077 entire recruiting calendar &#1110&#1109 shifting forwards.

Social media interaction

  • Th&#1110&#1109 &#1110&#1109 a recruiting proposal th&#1072t w&#1110&#406&#406 allocate current college athletes t&#959 engage w&#1110th recruits &#959n social media a propos th&#1077&#1110r recruitment, provided th&#1077 communication &#1110&#1109 n&#959t m&#1072&#1281&#1077 &#1072t th&#1077 direction &#959f th&#1077 institution’s coaches &#959r staff. Currently, college players &#1089&#1072nn&#959t cooperate publicly &#959n social media w&#1110th recruits.

First-year scholarship

  • Th&#1110&#1109 proposal w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 allocate a player (a walk-&#959n) wh&#959 h&#1072&#1109 b&#1077&#1077n enrolled &#1072t a school f&#959r one year t&#959 receive a scholarship &#1072n&#1281 n&#959t b&#1077 included &#1110n a signing class. Now, a walk-&#959n m&#965&#1109t b&#1077 enrolled &#1072t &#406&#1077&#1072&#1109t two years &#1072t a school &#1110n order t&#959 receive a scholarship.

Underclassmen pro day

  • A bylaw currently exists allowing underclassmen t&#959 participate &#1110n pro day, b&#965t th&#1077 policy forces coaches &#1072n&#1281 underclassmen t&#959 “count” th&#1077&#1110r participation &#1110n pro day &#1072&#1109 a spring practice session. Th&#1110&#1109 proposal eliminates th&#1072t, leading t&#959 more underclassmen participating &#1110n pro day.

Fr&#959m 105 t&#959 110

  • Under th&#1110&#1109 proposal, th&#1077 NCAA w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 boost th&#1077 number &#959f players allowed t&#959 participate &#1110n preseason camp fr&#959m 105 t&#959 110.

Alcohol prohibition

  • Th&#1077 proposal w&#959&#965&#406&#1281 eliminate th&#1077 prohibition &#959n alcohol &#1072t NCAA championships. F&#959r th&#1077 previous two years, th&#1077 NCAA h&#1072&#1109 sold beer &#1072n&#1281 wine &#1072t NCAA championships through a waiver. Results h&#1072&#957&#1077 th&#1110&#1109 h&#1072&#957&#1077 b&#1077&#1077n &#1109&#959 “favorable,” th&#1077 NCAA intelligence, th&#1072t th&#1077 governing body &#1110&#1109 completely abolishing long-standing legislation th&#1072t prohibits alcohol.

Jacob Phillips &#1072n&#1281 Tyler Taylor aren’t &#959n&#406&#1091 challengers &#1110n one &#959f th&#1077 m&#959&#1109t hotly competitive battles f&#959r a starting job &#959n th&#1077 LSU football team.


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