Texas linebacker Malik Jefferson (46) sacks Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield (6) during the first half at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015. Texas won, 24-17. (Brandon Wade/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)

Football

OU’s Baker Mayfield loses fight to regain lost year

Big 12 faculty athletic reps vote 5-5 against Mayfield getting extra year back

Posted June 1st, 2016

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Story highlights
  • Big 12 expansion was discussed for about 90 minutes Wednesday.
  • League commissioner Bob Bowlsby wants final decisions made by end of summer.
  • Bowlsby: Big 12 in no position to sanction Baylor.

IRVING — Baker Mayfield, you simply can’t fight city hall.

The Lake Travis product who lost a year of eligibility by transferring to Oklahoma from Texas Tech after his freshman year was denied again Wednesday at the Big 12’s spring meetings.

OU officials sought to get Mayfield’s lost year restored through a proposed rule change directed at walk-ons. However, Big 12 faculty athletic representatives voted 5-5 on the measure, which needed a simple 6-4 majority to pass.

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Mayfield, who led the Sooners to the national semifinals last season, will have only one year of eligibility remaining at OU. Oddly enough, he could transfer elsewhere and play his fourth year somewhere else.

From the beginning, Texas Tech officials held to their position that Mayfield should not get his extra year back. Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione said he’s thought about whether his feelings would change if the roles were reversed.

“We understand their perspective,” Castiglione said. “We’ve been respectful; they’ve been respectful. They have a view; we have a view. But at the same time, we believe the proposed change is bigger than this particular situation.”

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby warned about “unintended consequences.” Since the proposal did not gather enough votes, the Big 12 considers this issue closed.

“I think there was some apprehension about any walk-on at any one of our schools being recruited to another school by an offer of scholarship and whether that was really what we wanted to do,” Bowlsby said.

Mayfield’s situation is unique. He won the starting quarterback job in Lubbock, but transferred following his first season after getting crossways with coach Kliff Kingsbury. Mayfield sat out the 2014 season, as required by NCAA transfer rules. He could conceivably earn his OU degree and play somewhere else in 2017.

“Well, that is certainly a possibility,” Castiglione said, “and I don’t think that would make anybody feel better unless I guess you’re talking to the institutions that have to face him.”

Big 12 expansion: Bowlsby said the athletic directors spent about 90 minutes talking about conference expansion, a championship game and possibly a Big 12 network. All the issues are intertwined, he said.

Beginning Thursday, league presidents will be presented with “a couple hundred pages of fairly dense data,” Bowlsby said.

Reporters from Cincinnati, Memphis and Orlando (Central Florida) are attending the league meetings looking for any hints of expansion.

Texas athletic director Mike Perrin said he was against expansion for expansion’s sake. “I don’t think the Big 12 has to do anything right now,” Perrin said.

Even with three interim presidents in attendance, Bowlsby wants all “CEOs” to gather the data and go back to their campus to formulate an institutional positions.

“I’m going to push for decisions to be made one way or the other by the end of the summer,” Bowlsby said.

No Baylor penalties: Bowlsby said Big 12 officials have talked about the Baylor situation. However, the league is not likely to issue any penalties. “We don’t have any vantage point to sanction Baylor,” Bowlsby said.

ESPN reported Wednesday that seven Baylor recruits from its 2016 signing class have asked to be released. It’s unclear whether the school will comply. “This is unusual enough circumstances, that’s a fair question,” Bowlsby said.

Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com.

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