Michigan's Warde Manuel supports new NCAA transfer, redshirt rules

Angelique S. Chengelis
The Detroit News
Tarik Black

Ann Arbor – Michigan athletic director Warde Manuel supports the NCAA’s new transfer procedure and changes to redshirt eligibility for football announced earlier this month.

College athletes no longer need permission from the school or coach to transfer, and football players can play in four games in a season and still redshirt without losing a season of competition. The NCAA announced the changes June 13.

The change to the transfer policy is effective Oct. 15 and gives student-athletes more flexibility. Currently, they must ask a coach for permission to contact other schools. Without that permission they can’t get financial aid from the school to which they transfer.

Now, they will be able to inform their current coaches of their decision and the school has two days to enter the student-athlete’s name into a database managed by the NCAA. Once the name is in the database, other coaches are free to contact the athlete.

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“I like both rule adjustments,” Manuel said Thursday after presenting the athletic department budget to the university Regents. “I am perfectly fine with the student-athletes being able to, because most of the time when they ask for permission, we granted it 99, 98, 97 – whatever percent it was. So I’m fine with that.”

The redshirt rule change is pivotal in college football. It will give coaches more depth to work with now that they don’t have to worry about burning a player’s eligibility for getting in a game. And for the players, there’s a feeling that those who will be redshirted will stay more involved and motivated each week of the season.

“I think having up to four games for someone before they burn a year is good,” Manuel said. “It allows up to four games just to get the experience. I think four games is appropriate.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said last December before the Wolverines’ most recent bowl game that he liked the discussion that had been going on about the redshirt rule proposal. At the time, he was pinning the discussion to Michigan freshman receiver Tarik Black, who had been injured in the third game of the season and probably could have had some snaps in the bowl game.

Having redshirted players available to play in a bowl would be a boost, Harbaugh said last December.

"I think that would be a good thing for the players,” he said. “It would be a good thing for all concerned. What a wonderful thing it would be to play some of the freshmen in that bowl game and not lose their redshirt year. This is a timely time to talk about it because there’s real-life examples where these bowl games could be treated as next year and not part of the regular season.”