With National Signing Day approaching on February 2, the UTEP Miners may have found themselves in an awkward position. It seems the Miners may have more incoming recruits who have committed to UTEP than scholarships available for them. Consequently, UTEP coaches are now reportedly pulling scholarship offers from at least two verbal commits and instead asking them to grayshirt during the Fall 2011 semester.
What is a grayshirt? What it basically means is that a recruit will sign with a school next week on signing day but won't actually join the team until January, 2012. Usually, a student who grayshirts will attend a community college (or pay their own way at the school) for the fall semester until their scholarship kicks in the next semester. A student's scholarship offer will be honored, just a semester later than usual. A player who grayshirts obviously can't practice with the team in the fall semester.
The NCAA five-year clock doesn't begin until the player enrolls as a full time student, so gray-shirting is a delayed form of red-shirting.