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Mike Gundy Proposes Radical Change to New Redshirt Rule

How Oklahoma State’s CEO would like to see players’ eligibility change.



Like the offense he oversees and the program he runs, Mike Gundy is perpetually tinkering with new ideas on how to improve the sport of college football.

Gundy, who has been vocal about his support of an eight-team playoff and various other college football-related home improvements, proposed a new idea this week on his radio show with the great Dave Hunziker in which he suggested a radical change to the new redshirt rule that has taken effect this season.

Rather than allowing players to play in up to four games while preserving redshirt eligibility, Gundy says, he’d like to see it eventually open up into a full seasons worth of added eligibility. So instead of four total years, he says, he’d like to see student-athletes enter college with five.

“I think [the redshirt rule] is a really good rule,” said Mike Gundy. “But I’m not sure why they don’t let everybody play. Why four games? Why not just let them all play the entire season? Who you want to play is your choice as a coach, and you’re just protecting the bodies and the reps of the players that are currently playing because you can put some other guys in and give them some work. So they went with four games, and I’m not really sure why they did that. Why not just let them play five years?”

Mike Gundy contends that, while theoretically the added year would seem to indicate a huge shift, it wouldn’t change things much from how they currently are. Most players stick around for five years anyway, including a redshirt season, so allowing them an extra year to suit up would benefit coaches, who would have a new pool of talent from which to pull from with no drawbacks, as well as players, who could earn playing time from day one without using up precious eligibility.

“It wouldn’t be a lot of difference really,” Gundy continued. “Academically, once their eligibility is complete, then they can move off of that count list. And, financially, they can move on and go get a job. But regardless, it’s better than nothing. Having the four games is going to give us and give other coaches and their staffs a lot of flexibility.”

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