The American Football Coaches Association, the same group that thought it’d somehow be wise for noted sexual assault advocator Art Briles to give a speech to its members at a convention last week, isn’t all that loony.
At its meetings in Nashville last week, the organization proposed a smart rule, amending the current redshirt policy, which states that one snap removes all redshirt eligibility.
If it is passed, players could participate in up to four games and still be eligible for a redshirt — much like the medical redshirt rules apply now. Alabama coach Nick Saban voiced his support for the proposal in the spring, when it was still in its infancy.
Power Five teams could break in some of its true freshmen against FCS opponents or in other blowout situations with little thought otherwise. Roster management becomes a little easier and recruiting pitches are more transparent.
Think of it this way. When Saban or another coach walks into a living room, they can tell a prospect who may be walking into a loaded position group that, yes, they’d play right away and not be lying. Giving the player a chance to prove himself outside of practice puts the onus on him — not the coach — to determine his future in the program.
Say you’re a team decimated by injury. Alabama was at linebacker for most of this season. Saban acknowledged he was planning to redshirt LaBryan Ray and Christopher Allen, two true freshmen at the position, but could not after the rash of injuries.
Both played early and their development in the program was hastened.
With this rule, that can all be avoided.