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College Information
Shirt Colors
  • The multi-colored shirts of college sports​

While “redshirt” may be a familiar term to many student-athletes and their families, there are actually a number of different shirt color terms that designate a student-athlete’s eligibility status. The color also shows how a coach sees a recruit contributing to the program in both the short-term and long-term.​

 

  • Redshirt

Typically, a redshirt athlete will have a scholarship but cannot compete for one year. They will participate in all team activities like practice, training, and receive benefits such as academic tutoring, but they will potentially see restricted playing time. However, they will get an opportunity to play four seasons in five years. Reasons for being redshirted include a coach wanting a year to physically prepare an athlete for college competition, or a chance for a student-athlete to recover from an injury. An “academic” redshirt would be a freshman who may not meet the academic eligibility requirements coming out of high school.

 

  • Grayshirt

This is one of the more challenging offers from a college coach. In some cases, grayshirt offers are made by programs that have more commits than open roster spots. Most coaches try to be clear about offers being made, but some committed student-athletes have been surprised to learn they have been grayshirted as National Signing Day nears. A grayshirt offer means that an athlete will be on scholarship at the start of the second semester. That means they enroll first semester as a part-time student at the school or possibly a two-year school. The good news is that grayshirt athletes will also have five years to play four seasons. Plus, there’s a chance it could be turned into a regular scholarship offer if there is an unforeseen opening on the team’s roster.

 

  • Blueshirt

Blueshirting is becoming a more popular (but hardly common) way to creatively manage the number of athletic scholarships. Blue shirt rules allow for unrecruited players to be awarded a scholarship at the start of freshman practice. Like a redshirt, they will practice with the team but won’t be allowed to play for a year. This allows a team that may have too many commits to essentially borrow against their next year’s scholarship total. The rules are rather strict in regard to what is defined as being “unrecruited.” That means there are;

  • No official visit

  • No in-home coach visit

  • No signed National Letter of Intent

  • No form of athletic aid

Given the recruiting restrictions, it is still a pretty rare occurrence for a student-athlete to be considered for a blueshirt scholarship offer.

  • ​Greenshirt

More and more fall sport athletes are getting a jump on their college careers by graduating in December and enrolling a semester early. The benefits to greenshirting include the chance to get ahead on classes, attend spring training and practice with your new team while on scholarship before the new fall season. Student-athletes who greenshirt are allowed to play their first year but the can also redshirt and have five years to play four seasons.

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