Vanderbilt Team News

Derek Mason favors allowing players to play four games and still redshirt

Vanderbilt coach Derek Mason

Derek Mason favors the American Football Coaches Association proposed rule change to allow a player to see action in four games, yet not lose his redshirt season. The Vanderbilt football coach said as much on the SEC coaches teleconference on Monday.

Mason said the rule change could help programs at any time of the season. He said teams could make good use of it in situations such as when LSU was without Leonard Fournette and Stanford didn’t have Christian McCaffrey in bowl games after last season.

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“Last year when you looked at Fournette and McCaffrey not playing in bowl games, those guys effect teams,” Mason said. “So is that going to be a future trend? I don’t know. But as we move forward, coaches have to prepare for guys that might be draft worthy to possibly not play in postseason games. What does that do to you in terms of your numbers or players that are readily available to you?”

The new AFCA rule proposal would also supposedly do away with the medical redshirt.

“The old rule is an antiquated rule,” Mason said. “If this rule comes into effect, what we’re looking at is the ability for you to bolster your roster a little bit and give yourself a chance as well as them. If they’re acclimated and can play? You let them play. When that is? That’s really on you.”

This proposed change is supported by the majority of the SEC coaches who spoke on Monday. Alabama’s Nick Saban is a proponent of allowing players the chance to get four games of action, but not in favor of just doing away with the redshirt all together.

(You can follow Dan Mathews on Twitter @DanMathewsATL)

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