Some players on your team will be demanding playing time, and are listed at the bottom of your roster as such. There are three reasons why a player might make such a demand:
- He was promised playing time when recruited
- He is an elite pro prospect
- He considers himself significantly better than the other players at his position
Regardless of the reason, the player will transfer or go pro after the season if he is not given sufficient playing time. If a player was promised playing time and transfers because he does not receive it, your recruiting prestige will be lowered. This penalty will go with you should you change schools. Note that the penalty is also incurred if the player is cut or is benched as a senior and graduates before he can transfer. Additionally, a player unhappy with his playing time will tend to underperform and may hurt your team's chemistry; thus you are advised to only promise playing time to those players who will really get it.
To keep a player at your school, he needs to have significant playing time in most of the games for which he is healthy. "Significant playing time" depends on the sport as follows:
- Baseball (position): started the game
- Baseball (pitcher): pitched 1/9 of the game
- Basketball: started or played 1/2 of the game
- Football: in the starting lineup (based on position the depth chart and the most common formation), or played 1/2 of the game
- Hockey (skater): played 1/4 of the game
- Hockey (goalie): started or was #1 on the depth chart
Note that minutes when the bench is cleared in a blowout (football and basketball) do not count for or against this total.
A baseball pitcher can get credit for up to 5 "starts" per game since starting pitchers go only 1/4 or 1/5 of the time. To allow for relief pitchers, anyone throwing a full inning is given credit for 4 "starts", 2 outs gives 3 "starts", and 1 out gives 2 "starts".
A player can get "partial credit" for a game if he doesn't quite reach the minimum number of minutes.
In football, keep in mind that you can use the specialist settings to ensure that a player is on the field enough. This is particularly useful at WR, where you could be forced to list a "playing time promise" player low on the depth chart.
Once games have begun, all of your players needing playing time will let you know if they are happy, borderline, or unhappy with the playing time they are getting. Those who are happy will not transfer; those who are unhappy will transfer; those who are borderline may or may not.