Ann Arbor — The NCAA announced a pivotal change for redshirting in college football earlier this month.
Under the new rule, football players are allowed to play in up to four games without losing their redshirt status and a season of eligibility.
Michigan coach John Beilein said he'd be in favor of a similar rule being put in place for college basketball.
"It would be fantastic," Beilein said Tuesday. "I have said this for years — give a kid up until Jan. 1 (to decide whether to redshirt)."
Beilein said he'd be open to it either being a set deadline — like Jan. 1 — or a certain number of games basketball players would be allowed to participate in before losing their redshirt status, like football.
"Probably 10 games or something would be good to give them an idea what it's like to sit the bench and only play five minutes a game, which they have never done in their lives," Beilein said. "That's hard to do."
Beilein said there'd be several benefits and pointed to how former forward D.J. Wilson redshirted as a freshman after he suffered a left knee injury against Villanova just five games into the 2014-15 season.
"(Wilson) came in two days later and said, 'Coach, I want to redshirt. My body is not ready for this,'" Beilein recalled. "Now, all of a sudden, he's the 17th pick in the (NBA) draft. That was a good move."
Beilein added while such a change might lead to more graduate transfers, it would also allow teams to be more resourceful with their time. For example, teams would be able to focus on physically developing players after they opt to redshirt rather than be concerned with the possibility of them being pressed into action due to injuries.
"When Charles Matthews was ineligible (due to transfer rules), the day of a game (strength and conditioning coach) Jon Sanderson was with him for an hour just working on his body, not worrying about him having to play in that game," Beilein said.
"Let's say if Jon Teske had — to that point as a freshman — played in games and then decided (to redshirt), we would've worked a lot more with him on his body. But we couldn't because we didn't know if we were going to need him in a game."
Under the current rule, basketball players must make a decision to redshirt before the season begins. And if they check into any game during the season, even if it's just for one play, they burn their redshirt and a year of eligibility.
"Overall, just a great rule. If we could go to Jan. 1 (deadline) and if they play on Jan. 1, you've used up your year. If you haven't, then you could decide to redshirt," Beilein said. "Let them make the choice instead of doing it in the preseason."
In addition to the redshirt rule changes for football, the NCAA also adopted a new transfer procedure where colleges can no longer block student-athletes from having contact with certain schools and student-athletes no longer need permission from the school or coach to transfer.
Under the new policy, which will go into effect on Oct. 15, once a student-athlete informs his or her coach of their desire to transfer, the school has two business days to enter the student-athlete’s name into a national transfer database managed by the NCAA. And once the name is in the database, other coaches are free to contact the athlete.
While Beilein isn't a fan of his players transferring within the Big Ten — he placed restrictions on former guard Spike Albrecht and big man Ricky Doyle before relenting, and center Max Bielfeldt had to win an appeal through a Michigan review board to allow him to go to Indiana — he doesn't anticipate the new rule having much of an impact on his program.
"We're not going to deny permission, but it is good to know," Beilein said. "The bad side (before the new rule) is if you ask for permission and are held hostage by kids thinking of transferring, but you got to hold onto the scholarship. The bad side is (now) if you want to transfer, we're going to give away your scholarship, so that brings some equity there."