Ohio State Quarterback Justin Fields Receives Waiver for Immediate Eligibility from NCAA

By Dan Hope on February 8, 2019 at 4:25 pm
Justin Fields

Justin Fields is eligible to play for Ohio State this season.

Ohio State announced Friday that Fields' transfer waiver application has been approved by the NCAA.

“I am happy for Justin and his family,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said in a statement. “I also want to express my appreciation to the NCAA for its assistance in getting this matter resolved efficiently and with such a positive outcome for Justin.”

In a statement released through the university, Fields says he has "no regrets" about his time at Georgia and will not speaking about his transfer again, instead looking to turn his full attention toward playing for the Buckeyes this upcoming season.

"I thank God for His guidance during this time of uncertainty," Fields said. "I would like to thank the NCAA for its approval of the waiver allowing me to be eligible to play football this fall. I also want to thank all those who supported and encouraged my family and me during this process. While my case was pending before the NCAA, my family and I did not feel that it was appropriate to publicly speak about the circumstances leading to my transfer. In my silence, people began to speculate, and the story took on a life of its own. 

"Now that this matter is concluded, I would like to clarify some facts.  I have no regrets about my time at UGA and have no hard feelings for the school or football program. My overall experience at UGA was fully consistent with UGA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.  My sister is a softball player at UGA.  I am still close friends with many of my UGA teammates.  A part of me will always be a Georgia Bulldogs fan.

"To Buckeye Nation: thank you for your warm welcome.  I will work hard to represent you and The Ohio State University in a professional and respectful manner.  My dad always tells me that “you can’t get to where you are going by looking in the 'rear view mirror.'” I’m ready to move forward and embrace the next season of my life. 

"I will not be speaking about my transfer again. Instead, I will focus all of my attention on getting to work in the classroom and on the field – and doing whatever else I can to help my teammates as we prepare for the 2019 season."

"I’m happy for Justin and his family and all the Buckeyes fans who’ve been waiting for this decision," Fields' attorney, Tom Mars, said in a statement. "Justin’s not only a great quarterback. He’s also an exceptionally mature and impressive young man. He fully deserved to receive a waiver."

Under NCAA transfer rules, Fields would have had to sit out a year if he had not received a legislative relief waiver. According to Kyle Rowland of the Toledo Blade, Georgia initially objected to Fields receiving a waiver, filing a written response with the NCAA on Jan. 24, but eventually acquiesced.

Fields has not specified why he decided to transfer from Georgia, and the NCAA typically does not comment on why it grants legislative relief waivers. Fields was believed to have a good chance of receiving a waiver, though, following an incident at Georgia this past fall in which a baseball player (who was later dismissed from the team) used a racial slur toward Fields.

Now that his eligibility has been resolved, Fields is expected to be Ohio State's starting quarterback in 2019, though it's unlikely that the Buckeyes will name a starter before spring practice. That said, Fields wasn't recruited to be a backup, and should be in line to succeed Dwayne Haskins immediately.

Fields' top competition for the starting quarterback job this spring will come from redshirt freshman Matthew Baldwin, while redshirt senior Chris Chugunov is the only other scholarship quarterback on the roster.

A native of Kennesaw, Georgia, Fields will be a sophomore for the Buckeyes in 2019 after spending just one season at Georgia. 

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