A Red Shirt Freshman is a student on an NCAA college sports team who was kept out of competition for a year in order to prolong his or her eligibility. Usually this is done to allow the student to be a "part" of the team in terms of learning, healing from injury, and/or conditioning, but not a participant in any of the contests/games/meets/etc.
The following year, they begin their 1st of 4 years of eligibility, or their "freshman" year of eligibility, even if they are sophomores in terms of academics.
Heather Stec from Siena Women's Basketball team played as a red-shirt freshman in the 2005-2006 season to be eligible to play an extra year at Siena.
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