The Different Shirt Color Scholarship Offers
What the Different Colored Shirts of College Sports Mean
A "redshirt" is a student who is not allowed to play in any games during their first year of college. This is because they are still learning and trying out for the team. Coaches usually want to see how a student does in their first year before deciding if they will play in the next few years.
Redshirt Scholarship Offer
A redshirt athlete is someone who gets a scholarship, but they don't play any games during the year. They go to all the team activities, including practices and training. But they can't play in any games. In five years, they can play in four seasons in five years. A coach might want to give their player a year to build up their strength before competing at the college level. Or it may be that a student-athlete needs time to heal after an injury.
A redshirt freshman is someone who may not have met the academic requirements to get into a four-year university.
Grayshirt Scholarship Offer
This is a difficult offer for a college coach to make. A grayshirt is a new student who delays their enrollment for one semester. They delay enrolling in the fall and instead, they enroll in classes for the second term (winter) of freshman year. During their first semester of college, a grayshirt does not enroll as a full-time student. Instead, they only take part-time courses. A grayshirt does not join the team, participate in drills with it, or receive financial assistance during their initial, part-time semester.
After enrolling, the NCAA permits student-athletes five years to complete four years of sports eligibility. This means that a student-athlete who enrolls part-time and then switches to full-time will be able to play sports after they have been enrolled for a year. Most coaches make it clear if they are offering a grayshirt, but some students are surprised when they find out they have been grayshirted as National Signing Day approaches.
Grayshirting in college football means that a player may participate in a season after graduating high school instead of beginning competition immediately. This is often done at colleges that over-sign, meaning they sign more students than there are roster spaces for. Grayshirting aids institutions in signing players early with the goal of having them join the team the following year.
Sometimes, if a player gets injured or someone new joins the team, their grayshirt status might change. This means they can join the team earlier than expected. But it is important to have clear communication with college coaches about your role on the team and whether you will be grayshirted or not.
Blueshirt Scholarship Offer
Blueshirt rules allow for scholarships to be offered to players who have not been recruited. This is a way to give scholarships to more people. The players will practice with the team, but they will not be able to play for a year.
This means that a team with many commitments can borrow scholarships from its next year. The rules for what is considered "unrecruited" are very strict. That means that you can't have an official visit, you can't have a coach come to your house, you can't sign a National Letter of Intent, and you can't get any athletic aid.
It is not common for a student-athlete to be offered a blueshirt scholarship.
Greenshirt Scholarship Offer
The practice of graduating early to get a head start on college has become more popular among high school and collegiate athletes. More and more fall sports players are graduating in December and enrolling a semester early.
Being able to greenhurtle allows students to finish their schoolwork ahead of time, attend spring training with their new team, and practice with them before the new fall season begins. If a student-athlete chooses to, they can play their first year but may also redshirt if they want. They have five years to play four seasons.
Beyond NCAA DI and DII
Only a small number of high school athletes receive scholarships to play sports in college. If you are a student-athlete or if your family is hoping you will get a scholarship to play in college, you should look into colleges that offer financial aid other than D1 and D2 programs. These include D3, NAIA, and junior colleges.
Even though NCAA DIII institutions are not able to provide athletic scholarships, many students at these schools still receive some type of financial assistance. For example, the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics reports that its players receive an average of $7,000 in financial aid. Additionally, the National Junior College Athletic Association provides full and partial scholarships at more than 500 institutions, which often goes overlooked when it comes to college athletics.