The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

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The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

The Student News Site of University of Central Missouri

Muleskinner

Redshirting Gives Flexibility for Success

Helping young student-athletes work on all aspects of college life one game at a time

This is a sport that’s pretty demanding and I tell people all the time, you can’t really minimize your efforts when it comes to being a wrestler,

— Head Wrestling Coach Garcia

  Redshirts are student athletes on a team who are not fully competing for a variety of reasons whether it be academic, athletic, or just adjusting to school life. Cody Garcia, Head Coach for the Wrestling Team, believes there are many reasons why a student might be redshirted, but the most common is academics.

Infographic by Aaron Bax

“Ultimately, one of the bigger factors is from an academic standpoint, we want to make sure that we’re preparing you guys for success so they leave here confident and competent,” Garcia said.

  According to the National Collegiate Athletic Association, redshirting provides flexibility to the athlete, and the team by giving coaches and athletic directors options to help young student-athletes work on all the other aspects of college life without the pressure of immediate top-level competition. 

  Many believe this can also help freshmen transition more smoothly from high school sports and academics to their college-level counterparts, reducing the risk of overwhelming freshmen athletes.

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  Redshirted wrestler Trey Dillow, explained another reason for why a student might be redshirted– getting used to the campus. Dillow said that being a redshirt, “it’s just finding your role within the team, knowing how you can support them and get acclimated to kind of what your role is going to be and figure out where your strengths are. What your plan is over the next four years.”

  For fans, redshirting is something a little more simple. For UCM student and fan Kyle Thompson, a redshirting is “a great opportunity for students to acclimate to athletics at a college level without using a year of eligibility.”

  That being said, redshirting does not mean missing out entirely on your freshman year athletics. According to Garcia the rules around redshirting allow for an interesting team bonding experience.

  “But [what] we can do is wrestle unattached [not representing UCM]. So a lot of these guys, you know, they’ll go to six, seven or eight tournaments, wrestling unattached,” Garcia said.

  He further detailed what this process was like. 

  “It’s a unique part of being a redshirt,” Garcia said. “They get to travel to all these tournaments that we go to, but they have to drive themselves there. But it’s good times and brotherhood. I know a couple times they’ve went and stayed in a hotel room together, they drove up together so they get to spend time together.”

 According to Garcia, academics is an important part of being a wrestler. “This is a sport that’s pretty demanding and I tell people all the time, you can’t really minimize your efforts when it comes to being a wrestler,” Garcia said. 

  For Garcia, that means showing dedication on and off the mat which is why he might redshirt a student to allow them to focus more heavily on academics. “All the All Americans I’ve coached were also Academic All Americans.”

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About the Contributor
Aaron Bax, Sports Editor
Aaron Bax is the Sports Editor at the Muleskinner. A Warrensburg Native, Aaron started working for the muleskinner as a senior in high school, covering local sports. After graduation Aaron hopes to pursue a career in sports journalism.

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