Red Shirt

Updated February 23, 2017 | Factmonster Staff

The Question:

What is the origin of the term "red shirt freshman?" Why red shirt?

The Answer:

Freshmen are often allowed to practice but not compete during a season. This preserves a year of eligibility for the athlete. Football coaches had these students wear red shirts so that they were easy to identify on the field. And so the term was born.

-The Fact Monster

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