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Oklahoma football: Texas Tech lifts Baker Mayfield's scholarship restriction — but too late to matter

by Jason Kersey Published: August 21, 2014

NORMAN — Texas Tech will no longer block quarterback Baker Mayfield’s ability to receive a scholarship this year at Oklahoma, reported Thursday evening, although the act is little more than an empty gesture.

A source close to Mayfield told The Oklahoman that Texas Tech waited too long to act, meaning Mayfield can’t receive an OU scholarship this fall.

Also, Texas Tech remains staunch in their opposition to Mayfield being able to play this season for the Sooners.

He started seven games last season as a walk-on true freshman at Texas Tech, recording 2,315 passing yards and 12 touchdowns. He was named the Big 12’s Offensive Freshman of the Year.

Mayfield decided to leave Texas Tech after not receiving a guarantee that he’d be Texas Tech’s starting quarterback in 2014, and he says Red Raiders coach Kliff Kingsbury hadn’t assured him he would receive a scholarship.

Kingsbury disputes the latter statement, saying both Mayfield and his father knew the school planned to award him an athletic scholarship this season.

Regardless, Mayfield chose to walk-on at Oklahoma, and Texas Tech blocked the transfer, meaning he wasn’t eligible to play or receive financial aid in 2014. And because of Big 12 rules regarding in-conference transfers, Mayfield must lose a year of eligibility.

“I think it’s one thing if you’ve invested a scholarship in an individual and he decides to leave,” OU coach Bob Stoops said last month. “But a guy that you haven’t invested a scholarship in, I don’t know why … it would be an issue.”

Mayfield and his family retained high-profile attorney Jim Darnell, who represented Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in his fight with the NCAA during the 2013 preseason, and they have filed an appeal to the NCAA for immediate eligibility.

Texas Tech relented on the scholarship — albeit too late — but is still refusing to clear the way for Mayfield to play this season. The sophomore is still set to lose a year of eligibility, as well.

If Mayfield is granted eligibility this season by the NCAA, he would likely become the Sooners’ second-team quarterback behind sophomore Trevor Knight.

by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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