This story was written by Jarrod Prugar.
This time of year roster flexibility is nearly nonexistent with players opting out of bowl games or hitting the transfer portal and those in the portal unable to get to campus until the spring semester.
To help with this, the NCAA has issued a one-time blanket waiver in FBS football that will exempt post season play from the four-game limit which constitutes a season of competition.
ESPN’s Cole Cubelic was first on this and mentioned via Twitter that the blanket waiver is applicable to post season games that occur after Thursday, December 15.
Having this waiver allows a lot more creativity for coaches who have been flirting with burning up freshmen eligibility or are right on the cusp of burning it having played in four contests already. That flexibility will be huge for programs who have promising young players that could use the extra year of eligibility, but also are forced into playing time as a result of roster fluctuation.
For now, this is a one-time thing, though, it would make sense for all parties if this became a yearly occurance. With the way the transfer portal has impacted the game and the way opt-outs continue to grow every year, programs need this type of flexibility to field competitive teams for their bowl games.
Keeping young players off the field doesn’t help many, but allowing the bowl game to not count against them would be a major step forward in doing what is right by the NCAA and could ultimately help boost ratings based on the level of talent show by those young players.