As an undergraduate transfer, Tate Martell is required to sit out the 2019 season by NCAA rule. Unless he gets a waiver. And he’s trying to get a waiver.
Martell announced his transfer from Ohio State to Miami earlier this week. His attorney told the Toledo Blade that Martell is going to petition the NCAA to play in 2019 and cite, in part, the coaching change at Ohio State.
Urban Meyer retired at Ohio State at the end of the season and was replaced by offensive coordinator Ryan Day.
“You try and align the facts as best you can,” Travis Leach said. “Each one of these cases is a little bit different. You look at what are the reasons for the transfer, what happened, why didn’t it work, and then can you take those reasons and does it meet the NCAA’s requirements for a waiver? I think we have a couple opportunities.
“There were some things that happened at Ohio State that we can potentially get some relief from the NCAA, and we’re going to try it that way. The coaching staff turnover is an issue. There are a few things. There’s no real bright-line test that tells you 100 percent how you can get a waiver. This is a tough one, but there are some good facts on his side.”
Justin Fields applying for waiver at Ohio State
Martell is leaving Ohio State as Justin Fields arrives at the school. The former Georgia QB is petitioning the NCAA for immediate eligibility as well. Fields was the subject of racial slurs by a now-former member of the Georgia baseball team during a game in 2018. Fields played both baseball and football in high school.
The NCAA is currently considering a rule change that would make transfers immediately eligible if their coaches leave in the summer before the school year. That wouldn’t apply here because Meyer’s retirement was announced in December and the transition to Day took a month.
It’s reasonable to think Martell believed Fields’ immediate eligibility request at Ohio State would be granted. If the chances of Fields playing immediately at OSU were slim, Martell would have been the clear frontrunner to start for the Buckeyes in 2019. He played in six games in 2018 as the backup quarterback to Dwayne Haskins, a player expected to be chosen near the top of the 2019 NFL draft.
A former four-star recruit according to Rivals, Martell has spent the last two seasons at Ohio State. If he’s ruled immediately eligible, he could be the fourth high-profile transfer quarterback playing right away in 2019. Alabama quarterback Jalen Hurts said earlier in the week that he was heading to Oklahoma for his final season of eligibility and Missouri’s starting QB is expected to be Clemson transfer Kelly Bryant.
Martell will play at Miami under new coach Manny Diaz and offensive coordinator Dan Enos, who was the quarterbacks coach at Alabama in 2018.
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Nick Bromberg is a writer for Yahoo Sports.
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