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Texas Tech denying Baker Mayfield’s appeal another example of a bad rule

Texas Tech Stephen F Austin Football AP

The NCAA is full of silly rules, and Texas Tech is the latest to put one of them on display. Quarterback Baker Mayfield has had a transfer to Oklahoma blocked by Texas Tech after a small committee reviewed an appeal to allow him to be eligible to play right away in 2014.

Typical NCAA transfer rules require a player to sit out a season at their new school before being allowed to play in a game. In essence, a player loses a year of eligibility unless they can spare a redshirt year. Under certain circumstances the NCAA can allow for exceptions to be made through an appeal process, but schools also can make up and enforce their own rules in the process. Such is the case at Texas Tech, where any player who transfers to a conference opponent is required to sit out a year and lose a year of eligibility. Mayfield filed an appeal hoping for the best in order to move to Oklahoma, but did not get the response he had wanted.

Mayfield is not a scholarship player, which made him a slightly different case than usual for transfer players. Mayfield is a walk-on player who won the starting job at the start of the season with injuries at the position leaving head coach Kliff Kingsbury almost no other option. Even if he does wind up at Oklahoma, he will be a back-up among back-ups to Trevor Knight. Still, it is not right for Texas Tech to get to make the decision for him.

College football programs should not have a say in where a student athlete plays, or when they may play at the new school. It makes no sense and it is beyond time for the rule to be re-evaluated. One of the intentions of the transfer rule is intended to keep players from jumping from school to school on a yearly basis, and some filler about the importance of stability for a student athlete will probably be the reason why. But nobody is fooled by this in a sport that sees up to 20 coaching changes per year around the country, not even including assistant coaching changes.

Does a physics student have to sit out a year from classes when they decide to switch schools? No. Does a marching band member have to sit out a season when switching to a school with a bigger or better band? Nope.

So why must a football player be held to that rule and process? And more importantly, why does the school that player is moving on from get to determine where and when they can play at the new school?

Previous reports have suggested Mayfield has other options potentially available to him, including East Carolina and Houston according to

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22 Responses to “Texas Tech denying Baker Mayfield’s appeal another example of a bad rule”
  1. dbldmr says: Jan 10, 2014 11:10 PM

    Absolute nonsense! A guy who walked on is restricted by the school for which he played (without a scholarship), but a coach can leave with no restriction? Yeah…that seems equitable.

  2. huskerzfan says: Jan 10, 2014 11:17 PM

    Before writing this article, it might help if you learned the rules of the situation.

  3. lawson1974 says: Jan 10, 2014 11:17 PM

    I love the transfer rule. I hope they keep it. Nothing stops Mayfield from transferring to Oklahoma and taking a physics class (the primary pojnt of college) . He just can’t have the privilege of doing an extracurricular right away.

  4. vafootballfan says: Jan 10, 2014 11:44 PM

    The rule is there so you don’t have kids bouncing from school to school every year. Isn’t college supposed to be be about academics not athletics.

  5. jdillydawg says: Jan 10, 2014 11:52 PM

    Tech could at least offer him a scholarship for making him stay.

    Or, he could opt to stay at Tech and NOT play there just for kicks, then go to OK and play the following year, couldn’t he?

    That would be pretty funny. But another year in Lubbock, that’s a high price to pay…

  6. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 10, 2014 11:56 PM

    Kingsbury is acting like a petty little girl. He made the guy walk on, then eventually benched him, never gave him a scholarship, and now he is preventing Mayfield from WALKING ON at OU (where he will never play QB, btw).

  7. normtide says: Jan 11, 2014 12:52 AM

    I completely agree with the transfer rules, when they involve scholarships. If Oklahoma isn’t offering one, and he is walking on, he should be free to choose. I do understand the worries of a player going to a league opponent, but what can you say of he pays his own way?

    Corey Grant did this, going from Bama to Auburn. He was on scholarship and had to sit a year, but paid his own first year, so Bama didn’t block it. That seems pretty fair.

  8. steve3211 says: Jan 11, 2014 1:49 AM

    why is he leaving

  9. aec4 says: Jan 11, 2014 7:28 AM

    Easy solution: each player gets 1 “free” transfer. After that, then use this silly rule.

  10. gorilladunk says: Jan 11, 2014 9:23 AM

    The thing that really sucks about this story is the fact that Mayfield never received any financial assistance from Tech (scholarship, room & board, etc.) In my eyes he’s basically a free agent. I can’t say I’m surprised, though. ALL schools hide behind the idiotic rules the NCAA sets down when it benefits their agenda.

  11. eagles512 says: Jan 11, 2014 9:27 AM

    If a player walks on, he should be able to go wherever he wants. Kingsbury needs to step in and do the right thing.

  12. nightrain42 says: Jan 11, 2014 9:32 AM

    A coach doesn’t get punished for leaving…but u force a non scholarship player, who paid his own way to sit out? U didn’t pay nothing for this kid to attend Tech..u shld hve no say in his future. Especially since the rumor is that he was promised a spring scholarship, and then the offer was pulled.

  13. dhardy8207 says: Jan 11, 2014 9:45 AM

    If this kid walked on then Tech has no monetary investment. The fact that he will be a “backup among backups” is really irrelevent. I could see applying this rule if the university had issued a scholarship or even partial one. But seeming how he’s paying his own way, I really think that removes any say so they should have to the matter.

  14. rolltide510 says: Jan 11, 2014 10:29 AM

    I don’t think conferences and certainly not individual schools should get their own spin on these rules. But the sit-out-a-year rule is a good one. As others of pointed out, without if we’d have annual free agency in CFB.

  15. axavol says: Jan 11, 2014 10:42 AM

    Open another can of unenforceable rules. Immediately you have active recruiting of current athletes just like you have in high school in those states with no eligibility restrictions on transfers. All this would do is perpetuate the rich get rich world of college athletics. Some restrictions have to exist.

  16. halbert53 says: Jan 11, 2014 12:16 PM

    If they won’t let him transfer (since not on scholarship ), TT should be required to pay him value of scholarship and count it against their scholarship limit.

  17. sportsguy3434 says: Jan 11, 2014 5:55 PM

    I am in favor of the transfer rule. The players are too full of themselves many times and they would all be transferring too much when a coach is hard on then to make them the player they need to be. The recruiting nonsense would never stop.

    HOWEVER, this should only apply to scholarship (possubly full ride, which almost all of these athletes are anyway) athletes. TT rode this guy to amazing start and then stiffed him on a scholarship. Reward the guy or let him go. Ridiculous.

  18. hays2014 says: Jan 11, 2014 7:10 PM

    Of course this is just a board for people to express their thoughts. Reading nearly everyone of these makes me laugh though. This is an NCAA rule, not Techs. One says KK made him walk on, he did not Make him walk on. I know for a fact that everyone in that locker room is informed of every NCAA rule, no matter how tricky tack the rule is, it is told to student athletes over a 3 day period. As far as the scholarship being promised? You personally heard the promise? No you didn’t. Mayfield was a good story, in fact I was for him over Webb the whole year. But he was not the future for Tech, and why didn’t he stick to practicing after the Texas game , why just cause he didn’t like KK opening up the competition, why did he Quit? He won the job before what made him think he couldn’t win it again? No faith, no confidence? He heard something he didn’t like so he bolted. I can see him being upset, but wait and see after the bowl game. You have heard his story as lame as it is in places, KK hasn’t talked and he doesn’t have to. He is abiding by the NCAA rules he doesn’t owe Mayfield anything especially ater he bolted. But for you that sound like you know what’s going on, you don’t, you as well as me don’t know the whole story. Good or bad it’s the rules. If Mayfield was so Fired up about OU all his life, Why Didn’t He walk On There?.. That hasn’t been asked, why not. Wreck Em with the athletes that want to be here!

  19. ncalred says: Jan 11, 2014 9:14 PM

    Is the writer merely ignorant of the facts and context of the story, or is he from the east coast? Wow. Not buying the poor baby Mayfield is a victim deal. C’mon grow up people.

  20. tipstopten says: Jan 12, 2014 1:06 PM

    If this story was about UT I could believe it, but I thought TT was a little better than this. Kliff I thought you were a better man. Coaches leave, why can’t players?

  21. tipstopten says: Jan 12, 2014 1:11 PM

    TT has not committed to the young man(no scholarship) he should be free to walk.

  22. normtide says: Jan 12, 2014 6:53 PM

    Everyone brings up coaches leaving. It isn’t the same thing. While I think with no scholly in play he should be able to go wherever, I agree with the rule when one is. Coaching is a job. Transfer rules are in place for a reason. People are appalled, until there star player wants to transfer to a rival.

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