(USA Today Sports Images)
Baker Mayfield was one of the surprise stories of the 2013 college football season. He became Texas Tech's starting quarterback for the season opener as a freshman walk-on and was an integral part of Tech's hot start.
After starting Texas Tech's first five games before missing four due to injury, he announced his intention to transfer in December after playing in Tech's final three games. He has enrolled at Oklahoma.
That presents some issues, obviously. Oklahoma is in the same conference as Texas Tech, and the Red Raiders have not granted permission to play for Oklahoma. An appeal hearing is scheduled for Friday with a committee of Tech administrators and a decision is expected shortly thereafter.
Mayfield, as a walk-on, holds the position that he qualifies for a one-time transfer exemption as a non-recruited student. The appeal letter brings up Bylaw 13.02.12.1, which defines recruiting as: (a) Official visit; (b) having an arranged off-campus/coach visit to a high school; (c) initiating or arranging telephone contact; (d) a national letter of intent.
Mayfield says the only recruiting events with the Texas Tech football staff was approximately six phone calls with co-offensive coordinator Eric Morris and three impromptu visits (non-prearranged) with Morris at Lake Travis High School, where Mayfield graduated.
Mayfield played at Lake Travis High School in Austin, Tex. and won the starting job over Davis Webb (a freshman on scholarship) when sophomore Michael Brewer was hurt before the season. Brewer was considered the favorite for the job before the injury.
He says that the recruiting process was insignificant and because he was only invited to practice with the team as a walk-on he "has breached no agreement as he had no agreement with Texas Tech to begin with.”
Mayfield told ESPN.com Thursday that Tech was also not guaranteeing a scholarship for this spring and was working on one in the fall. He said that Kingsbury was "shocked" when he announced his decision to transfer.
"I mean, he was shocked, although he was quoted saying he knew one of the quarterbacks was going to transfer," Webb said to ESPN. "He was shocked to think it was me leaving. And he was saying how he had been behind me the whole time. I had no idea because of the miscommunication and the lack of communication, really. And not knowing what he was thinking. I mean, if you gave me another chance to go through it again, I still wouldn’t think he was behind me, and I was his guy the whole time. I know he did give me the opportunity to start in the first place, and I’m thankful for that. I worked my butt off to get there, and I thank for him for taking a chance on me -- starting a walk-on quarterback. But after that, when he was rotating us, there was no explanation."
If Mayfield is allowed to transfer from Texas Tech, he's going from one crowded situation to another. Redshirt freshman Trevor Knight sparkled for the Sooners against Alabama in Oklahoma's Sugar Bowl win and Blake Bell split time with Knight under center throughout the season.
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