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NCAA proposal would allow football players to play four games, maintain redshirt

The new proposal has widespread support.

NCAA Football: Texas Bowl-Texas vs Missouri Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, AFCA executive director Todd Berry announced a proposal that would allow college football players to participate in as many as four games per season without sacrificing their redshirt.

The plan, which has widespread support among coaches, does not specify when those four games occur and would eliminate the need for medical redshirts, which are currently available to players who participate in three games or fewer than 30 percent of the season.

“Little Johnny, he’s not ready to play. But Little Johnny’s mom and dad are in the stands. Every data point says when a kid is engaged in football during his collegiate years, the better he does academically, the better he does socially,” Berry told CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd.

Texas head coach Tom Herman mentioned the possibility of the rule change prior to the Texas Bowl and noted how valuable it would be to his team. For instance, the ‘Horns were down to one available tight end entering the game and then lost senior Kendall Moore to injury. Under the new rules, Texas would have been able to play freshman Reese Leitao in the bowl game and other late-season contests without sacrificing his eligibility.

Other redshirting players like wide receiver Jordan Pouncey, offensive tackle Sam Cosmi, and cornerback Kobe Boyce also would have been available for the Longhorns after injuries reduced depth at other positions.