Clearly, we were wrong!
Hopes were high that Baker Mayfield would play in an Oklahoma Sooners uniform this season. Now, those hopes have been completely removed by the governing body of college athletes. The NCAA as well as the Big 12 have ruled against the waiver requested by the former walk-on at Texas Tech. That does not mean the option of the NCAA granting OU a waiver allowing the University to put Mayfield on scholarship immediately is off the table.
Update: Mayfield will be placed on scholarship retroactively to the beginning of the semester by the University of Oklahoma!
OU Athletics Statement on QB Baker Mayfield pic.twitter.com/k7bdDSFGcQ— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) September 30, 2014
Simply put, Mayfield must sit out the entirety of the 2014 season. However, due to Big 12 intraconference transfer restrictions, the Conference Freshman Offensive Player of the Year also loses a year of eligibilty. By the time Mayfield hits the gridiron in front of 85,000 screaming fans, he will be classified as a junior.
All signs point back to the Texas Tech Red Raiders and more specifically, head coach Kilff Kingsbury.
"The driver and scoundrel behind all this is Kliff," James Mayfield, Baker's father, said Monday. " He is so focused or hellbent on punishing Baker." - via NewsOK
At the close of last season, Kingsbury made it clear that the quarterback competition would be open while refusing to extend a scholarship to Mayfield. To follow it up, TTU's administration continuously objected to Mayfield receiving a scholarship at Oklahoma into the late summer.By the time an empty gesture was offered up, it was too late for the quarterback to be placed on scholarship this semester.
Without a proven quarterback to stand behind Trevor Knight, the Sooners' coaching staff will continue finding ways to keep their starter healthy. Fans likely see few designed run plays for the dual-threat Knight while Oklahoma rides the running backs to victory. It may not be what we hoped for after the Sugar Bowl performance but it appears to be a recipe for success.
Instead of looking to Mayfield, OU turns to Cody Thomas, a redshirt freshman who has attempted only four passes on the collegiate level. The potential is there but it's hard to ignore experience in a championship type season.