IRVING — One day after declaring Baker Mayfield ineligible for the 2017 season, Big 12 officials reversed course Thursday and tweaked the language of a proposed rule that gives the Oklahoma quarterback an extended life with the Sooners.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the league’s faculty athletic representatives spent the day examining what went into the original 5-5 decision on Wednesday. After changing the language, the measure passed by a final 7-3 vote.
Now, Mayfield can play in 2016 (junior season) and 2017 (senior season) and finish his career with the Sooners.
Mayfield tweeted, “And y’all thought you were getting rid of me….”
“I think the faculty representatives in consultations and conversations with others felt like perhaps they hadn’t taken into consideration all components of it,” Bowlsby said.
Going forward, any walk-on who attempts to transfer to another Big 12 school without holding a written scholarship offer from the previous institution can then receive a scholarship at the new school and not lose an extra year of eligibility.
Mayfield, the Lake Travis product, first enrolled at Texas Tech in 2013 and won the starting quarterback job. He transferred out after the season and went to Oklahoma, which awarded Mayfield a scholarship. Tech had not offered Mayfield a scholarship before leaving Lubbock.
Initially, Big 12 officials docked Mayfield an extra year of eligibility per the league’s regular transfer rules. After Wednesday’s decision, Mayfield had only one year left at OU — the 2016 season.
“I think this was a very good action by the faculty athletic representatives,” a delighted OU president David Boren said. “I think also requiring written evidence of an offer of a scholarship, which in the case of Baker Mayfield, there was no such written offer at the time, I think that strengthens it.”
In a statement, OU coach Bob Stoops said, “I appreciate the Big 12 faculty athletics representatives spending more time studying the important issue of walk-on transfers and am pleased by the result of today’s Big 12 vote — not just because it potentially impacts Baker Mayfield, but because it was the right thing to do.”