Division I Proposal - 2017-17-FBS


Status: Adopted Final

Intent: In bowl subdivision football, to specify that a student-athlete may participate in up to four contests in a season without using a season of competition.

Bylaws: Amend 12.8, as follows:

[Federated provision, FBS only]

12.8 Seasons of Competition: Five-Year Rule. A student-athlete shall not engage in more than four seasons of intercollegiate competition in any one sport (see Bylaws 12.02.5 and 14.3.3). An institution shall not permit a student-athlete to represent it in intercollegiate competition unless the individual completes all of his or her seasons of participation in all sports within the time periods specified below:

[12.8 unchanged.]

12.8.3 Criteria for Determining Season of Competition. Minimum Amount of Competition. Any competition, regardless of time, during a season in an intercollegiate sport shall be counted as a season of competition in that sport, except as provided in Bylaws,,, and and This provision is applicable to intercollegiate athletics competition conducted by a two-year or four-year collegiate institution at the varsity or subvarsity level.

[ through unchanged.] Exception -- Bowl Subdivision Football. In bowl subdivision football, a student-athlete may compete in up to four contests in a season without using a season of competition.

[ through unchanged.]

[12.8.4 through 12.8.6 unchanged.]

Source: Atlantic Coast Conference

Effective Date:August 1, 2018; for competition that occurs on or after August 1, 2018.

Proposal Category: Amendment

Topical Area: Athletics Eligibility

Rationale: Under current legislation, a student-athlete who participates in one play of one contest uses a season of competition. This proposal would enhance student-athlete well-being by permitting a student-athlete, in football, to participate in up to four games without using a season of competition. The current rule often places coaches in a difficult position to decide whether to play a student-athlete in a limited amount of competition or to preserve the student-athlete's season of eligibility. The opportunity to play in a small number of games will ease this decision for coaches and help the student-athlete's development and transition to the college game. Additional flexibility with substitutes may allow starters and more experienced student-athletes additional rest and/or to feel less pressure to play through injuries. The opportunity to play will help student-athletes who might otherwise "redshirt" to remain engaged with the team and may reduce the number of transfers that occur annually in football. Another potential benefit of this legislation is the opportunity for younger student-athletes to participate in bowl games, which are often as much about preparing for the following season as completing the current season. This legislation is supported by the AFCA Board of Trustees. Finally, this proposal may reduce administrative burden by eliminating the need to process a medical hardship request if a student-athlete is injured after limited participation.

Estimated Budget Impact: None.

Impact on Student-Athlete's Time (Academic and/or Athletics): Student-athletes who would not have previously qualified for a redshirt year could extend their participation by another season.

Position Statement(s):

Legislative Committee Recommends Council table the proposal and refer concept to the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee and the NCAA Division I Student-Athlete Experience Committee for further discussion on the number of games permitted, timing of when participation may occur, potential expansion to other sports and other issues.


Sep 1, 2017: Submitted to National Office
Sep 29, 2017: In Progress
Feb 8, 2018: Ready for Vote
Apr 18, 2018: Tabled
Jun 13, 2018: Adopted by Council
Aug 8, 2018: No Board Action
Aug 8, 2018: Adopted Final

Legislative References

Division Number Title
I 12.8 Seasons of Competition: Five-Year Rule.
I 12.8.3 Criteria for Determining Season of Competition.
I Minimum Amount of Competition.
I Exception -- Football.