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Nebraska pushing for five years of football eligibility for college football players

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Big 12 Conference officials will consider a significant player-eligibility change in college football when they convene this week for their annual spring meetings in Colorado Springs, Colo.

A top Nebraska official is helping push for the major change.

Husker athletic director Steve Pederson is chairman of the NCAA football issues committee, which is advocating a proposal that would give athletes five seasons of playing eligibility. As it stands, players are allowed to play four seasons in a five-year window.

"We’ve asked that it be put on the agenda of every conference in the country at their spring meetings so it can be discussed," Pederson said of the proposal. "As a committee, we believe it has validity. And now we want to find out if other people believe like we do."

As for the player-eligibility proposal, Pederson said he hasn’t heard any convincing arguments against allowing players to play for five years.

"Some people might wonder about the costs," he said. "Well, you have 85 players on scholarship, so the cost isn’t going to be any more if you have 85 scholarships spread over five years. The reality is a high percentage of players are here (at Nebraska) for five years anyway. That’s the situation at most schools.

"So why not let the players play the whole time?"

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