In recent year’s, the NCAA has adjusted rules for transfers. With that college football has seen a wave in transfers this past season. The transfer portal has benefited many schools, most notably the Miami Hurricanes.
The case of Tate Martell has the potential to create precedent, if he is granted immediate eligibility with an NCAA waiver. Martell decided to transfer after it was announced Justin Fields would be enrolling at Ohio State. However, the abrupt decision of Urban Meyer to retire and the promotion of Ryan Day as head coach may be another factor. With transfer rules being more relaxed, here are some reasons why Tate Martell should be granted immediate eligibility.
One of the more commonly debated topics among college football enthusiasts, is the fact that coaches are free to move around but not the athletes. This is the case for Tate Martell during his time at Ohio State. If anyone is familiar with Martell during his high school recruitment process, they know coaches are big deciding factor. It’s quite possible that Martell could be enrolled at the University of Washington if Steve Sarkisian never left. In the eighth grade, Martell was committed there but decided to reopen his recruitment shortly after Sarkisian went to USC. Before his junior season in high school, he decommitted from Texas A&M after former offensive coordinator, Jake Spavital departed.
Martell made the decision to commit to Ohio State a month later. He was recruited by Ohio State assistant Zach Smith, who was later dismissed after domestic violence allegations. Ohio State also lost offensive assistant Tim Beck, who took the Texas job just 10 days before Martell was set to enroll. He remained committed mainly due to his trust in Urban Meyer and his enrollment date being close at hand. With Meyer retiring, most of the coaches that recruited Martell are now gone from the program.
Throughout Meyer’s career, quarterbacks that are dual threat’s have long been his preference. He went undefeated with Alex Smith at Utah, and won a national championship with Tim Tebow at Florida. Ohio State, under former coordinator Tim Beck, was a team within the same mold with J.T. Barrett. Under Ryan Day, things have changed to bigger quarterbacks that are going to remain in the pocket like Dwayne Haskins. With Day now being the head coach, this looks to be the model that Ohio State is going to continue with in the future. New passing game coordinator Mike Yurcich has a history of utlizing bigger quarterbacks. From his time at Oklahoma State, only one quarterback has ever had more than 100 carries in a season.
Along with the fact that the coaches that originally recruited Martell have departed, the change in systems wouldn’t favor his abilities as a quarterback.
Martell Already Sat Out
If the NCAA is truly thinking about the student athletes first, they should also factor in that Martell already sat out a season as a redshirt. It remains unfair to the student athletes to be forced to sit out more than once within their collegiate career. This is particularly the case in a situation like Martell’s, with many factors that are out of his control.
Justin Fields Case
The NCAA approved a waiver for Justin Fields to be immediately eligible. Many speculated would happen due to alleged racist remarks from a former Georgia baseball player. However the attorney for Justin Fields has since spoken publicly and stated that those remarks weren’t included in the waiver application. If that upholds to be true, there should be no reason for the NCAA to deny the petition of Martell.
Celebrate The Right Way
The last reason is strictly from a marketing point of view. But why not add another story line to the opening of college football? The NCAA and ESPN had enough power to move the Miami Hurricanes and Florida Gators game up a week early to August 24th. Keep in mind this is after tickets and travel arrangements were already sold with the belief that the game would be played on Labor Day Weekend.
However because this is college football’s 150th season, the rivalry will now be the highlight of Week Zero. Viewers from everywhere will tune in to see the match-up and it will start off college football with a bang. Many fans would also tune in to see the uber- popular Martell who has been in the media spotlight since he was in middle school. It’s a benefit to everyone involved and it will help the NCAA bring in more money.