NCAA Division III Student-Athletes: Redshirt Rule to Know!

Spring-sport athletes (and their parents) on Division III teams should keep in mind that the “redshirt” rule is quite different for Division III than it is for NCAA Division I and II athletes. 

NCAA Division I and II athletes can practice with their team all the way through the end of the season, and as long as they do not appear in an actual game representing their university against another team, that will be considered a “redshirt” year for that athlete because they didn’t compete against another team.

However, NCAA Division III athletes will use one of their four “seasons of participation” if they practice with their team after the first game of the season – even if they never appear in an actual game against another team.

This happened to a client of ours last year.  The athlete’s father contacted us to ask about his son’s redshirt season because he had left the team after just one week of the season.  However, since he had practiced with the team after the start of the season, he was still charged with a “season of participation” for that season, and had three seasons remaining rather than the four that the father thought he had.

For a consultation regarding the redshirt rules and guidelines, send an email to rick@informedathlete.com or call us at 913-766-1235. 

About Rick Allen

25+ years NCAA Rules Expertise, including Director of Compliance at 2 major DI schools

Former President of National Association for Athletic Compliance (NAAC)

Conducts compliance reviews and audits at NCAA Schools throughout the U.S.

Consulted with NAIA schools transitioning to NCAA membership status

Dad of a DI & DII student-athlete

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