Without question the biggest talking point after opening camp for the 2011 season is that Dominique Battle has been granted a red shirt after missing the majority of the 2010 season with a torn ACL.
The standard is that a player can be granted a red shirt if he appears in less than 30 per cent of his teams games with no appearances beyond the midway point of the year. Battle started the Indiana State, N.C. State and Oklahoma games last year. And since Battle did not take a red shirt as a true freshman as is customary he had a red shirt year in his pocket. It should have been an open and shut case. A player gets 5 years to play 4 and given that Battle missed more or less all of 2010 in his third year he should have two more years to play. But as anyone who has followed UC for any period of time can tell you the NCAA and UC don't have the greatest of histories in terms of rulings.
No one that I know of at UC had a ton of confidence in Battle to get the Red Shirt that he clearly deserves. Even today Battle is listed on the official roster as a Senior.
You can't say "I have no faith in the NCAA to issue a fair judgement" than that.
So the question becomes how does this ruling effect this year? The answer is not very much. Assuming perfect health, and all indications to date are that Battle is fully recovered, Battle is written in pen on top of the depth chart at the Boundary Corner spot. Where this has a bigger effect is with the class of 2012 which is, as mentioned previously, almost comically heavy on defensive backs. This announcement means that the two deep in the secondary is assured of returning basically intact next year, give or take Wesley Richardson. Battle's return for his fifth year could also lead to a transfer from one of the guys on the bottom of the depth chart so keep an eye out for that. Still good news is good news.