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Medical Hardship, Redshirt, and Grayshirt
Redshirt - Though not an official term used by the NCAA, a redshirt season is one in which a student athlete does not participate in games and thus the year does not count towards his four years of eligibility. Typically these are freshmen who sit out their first year with the team due to sufficient depth at his position or the need to get into better physical condition. While a coach or player may say that a player is "redshirting", there is no such official designation and coaches can choose to play they at any time. Under NCAA rules, if a player plays a single play in a game they have used that year of eligibility.
Medical Hardship, a.k.a. medical redshirt - If a player misses a season due to injury, they can apply for a medical hardship for that season so that it does not count towards their four year of eligibility. Players can only apply for a medical hardship, commonly called a medical redshirt, if they have not played in more than 20% of the season's games or two games, whichever is greater, or if they have not already missed a season due to a non-medical redshirt (as defined above). However, if a player has a previous medical hardship and later misses another whole season to injury, they are eligible for a second medical hardship thus meaning they are on the team for six years to play four.
Redshirt freshman - A student athlete who is a sophomore academically but has not used any of his four years of athletic eligibility. Typically, a redshirt freshman is a player that sat or rehabilitating form a medical condition.
Redshirt sophomore, redshirt junior, redshirt senior, fifth year senior - These terms are used to indicate that a player has had a redshirt season. The reason is to note that while a sophomore has been on the team for two years, a redshirt sophomore has been on the team for three years and is therefore more experienced.
Grayshirt - A term not officially used by the NCAA, a grayshirt season is one in which a player enrolls as a part time, non-scholarship, student at the university. He does not practice with the team or participate in any organized team functions, does not use a scholarship, does not use any eligibility, and beings his career with the following season. In most instances, grayshirts are used to allow for class separation when the depth chart is already full at the position, or if a player needs time to rehabilitate from a medical condition coming out of high school.