The NCAA adopted a new rule Wednesday that allows Division I football players to appear in up to four games without forfeiting their ability to redshirt that season.
The rule means freshmen, in particular, will have a greater chance to obtain playing experience late in the season without using a year of eligibility.
"This change promotes not only fairness for college athletes, but also their health and well-being," Division I Council chair and Miami athletic director Blake James said in a statement. "Redshirt football student-athletes are more likely to remain engaged with the team, and starters will be less likely to feel pressure to play through injuries. Coaches will appreciate the additional flexibility and ability to give younger players an opportunity to participate in limited competition."
The new rule will be effective for the 2018 season.
Student-athletes still have five years of eligibility in which to play four seasons.