The new rule would've been especially useful for United Kingdom during times late in a season when injuries stack up and the Cats have few options at specific positions like on special teams.
So count Mendenhall among the scores of college coaches praising the NCAA's new redshirt policy. This will be crucial during bowl season when younger players are often called upon to fill in gaps on the depth chart for various reasons.
"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being", NCAA Division I Council chair and Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement.
Virginia football coach Bronco Mendenhall has been an outspoken proponent of the NCAA changing its redshirt rules to allow younger players the chance to get some limited game experience without losing a full year of eligibility. The rule changes prevents coaches and administrators from preventing athletes to contact certain schools.
COLLEGE athletes will no longer need permission from their coach or school to transfer and receive financial aid from another school.
The second major rule change applies directly to football players. A proposal was originally presented to the D-I Council in April, but tabled to allow conferences to provide feedback from spring meetings. But now, a player could hypothetically play the entire month of September, sit out the rest of the season and play the following season without a lost year of eligibility. The Division I Board of Directors developed a series of principles to guide the Transfer Working group, which included that any rule changes should "support the academic success of student-athletes", and "be based on data and create the least restrictive environment possible for student-athletes".
Redshirting is beneficial for players still because they get "extra lifting, they get some extra time with (strength and conditioning coaches) and those guys", Stoops said, especially offensive and defensive linemen.
Student athletes at the Division I level now have five years to play up to four seasons.
As we've seen in recent weeks with the SEC voting to allow inter-conference graduate transfers, the Power Five conferences can implement their own nuances to a national rule. Golfers, tennis players and other athletes in traditionally nonrevenue sports can transfer one time without sitting out. At that point, coaches from other schools are free to contact the student.
Now, if a player plays up to four games before getting injured, the team can still redshirt him and not lose a year of eligibility.