Dear Eligibility Coach:
How do you qualify for a redshirt?
The definition of redshirt is “did not play.” If a student-athlete does not compete during an academic year, that student-athlete has not used one of his four years of competition in NCAA sports. These four years must be completed within a five-year window of time. Therefore, is a student-athlete is a qualifier out of high school, practices with his team as a freshman, but does not compete, he still has four season of competition remaining in that sport.
It must be understood that ANY amount of competition counts as a season of competition. For example, if a football student-athlete only competes in one down of football during the entire season, he has used one of
his four seasons of competition in football.
Non-qualifiers in Division I start with three seasons of competition, but are able to earn back the fourth season of competition. These student-athletes should consult their institutional compliance office for more detailed information on how to regain that year of eligibility.