The future remains unclear for former Texas Tech quarterback Baker Mayfield. Mayfield, who won the Big 12’s Freshman of the Year honor after amassing a 5-3 record in eight starts this season for the Red Raiders, announced several weeks ago that he would be transferring from Texas Tech and had plans to enroll at Oklahoma in January.
Unfortunately for Mayfield, Texas Tech has no interest in letting him join the Sooners program — the school initially denied his request for release to Oklahoma. Today, a hearing appealing that decision occurred, but yet again, Mayfield was denied his release:
Baker Mayfield’s request to be released to Oklahoma was denied during a Friday appeals hearing at Texas Tech. #Sooners
— Eric Bailey (@EricBaileyTW) January 10, 2014
Baker Mayfield says he can still practice with the team as a walk-on at OU, he just can’t play and loses a year of eligibility.
— Carey Murdock (@CareyWWLS) January 10, 2014
Of all of the rules in college athletics that need fixed — and there are many of them — this one needs to be moved to the top of the list. If any athlete wants to transfer away to another school, for any reason, they should be allowed to with zero restrictions as to where they may end up. Making athletes sit out a year is one thing as a pseudo-punishment for switching, but barring a student-athlete from completing his academic and athletic career at specific locations seems odd and downright wrong.
Mayfield’s case is a particularly interesting one considering that he was never on scholarship at Texas Tech — he was a walk-on and was told he wouldn’t have a scholarship this spring either, even after performing extremely well on the field. So Mayfield isn’t even requesting to be released from a binding scholarship, he’s purely asking Texas Tech permission to switch schools without breaking any agreement — it isn’t the NCAA that is preventing him from joining another Big 12 team.
It will be interesting to see if anything more comes of this, and whether or not Mayfield’s heart is really set on attending the University of Oklahoma. With the spring semester starting up at schools across the country, he’ll have to make a decision very soon.