With players now afforded up to four games of participation without losing a season of eligibility, Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano said it’s going to be interesting to see how the Buckeyes and others take advantage of the new rule.
“That’s a huge change,” he said.
Headed toward the opener Saturday against Oregon State, Schiano said the change could be used to give some players experience while not wasting a redshirt season, but it also could provide depth later in the season.
Before, for example, if a freshman player was used for just one play, it amounted to wasting that chance for a redshirt season — barring injury — leaving him with just three seasons of eligibility remaining.
“I think there is a lot of strategic thinking that should go into it,” Schiano said. “I’m not sure everywhere that’s happening, but it is here. Because what happens oftentimes at the end of the year is you get into a situation where you could really use guys, No. 1, from a health standpoint, and No. 2, they’re a totally different player than when they showed up in June as a freshman.”
Though the new redshirt rule applies to any player with three years of playing time or fewer, it’s expected to be employed primarily with freshmen. And in the latter part of the season, some of those freshmen could be considered contributors, Schiano said, where they could be held out until playing in the final four games of the season without incurring the loss of the redshirt.
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“When they have gone through a summer of training, a (preseason) camp, and all those practices in preparation, they actually are ready by that time to make a big contribution,” he said. “So strategically, some do you play early and some do you wait and see and save in the fact that you might need them down the stretch, and they could actually have a huge impact on your success down the stretch?
“There’s a lot of strategy involved.”
Bonus pay for Day
Ryan Day has served as acting head coach since Aug. 1 due to the suspension of Urban Meyer, a role he will continue through the first three games.
University spokesman Chris Davey said that Day, already set to make $1 million this season as one of the offensive coordinators, will receive a bump in pay for his time at the helm, though the amount isn’t clear.
“The details are being finalized,” Davey said.
Meyer will return from his suspension without pay on Monday, but he won’t be allowed to be with the team on game days until Sept. 22 against Tulane.