NCAA Approves Tate Martell's Waiver Granting Him Immediate Eligibility for Miami's 2019 Season

By Kevin Harrish on March 19, 2019 at 3:41 pm
Tate Martell is eligible to play.
Miami Athletics

Tate Martell will be eligible to play this season.

The NCAA has approved the former Buckeye quarterback's waiver, making Martell eligible to play for the Hurricanes immediately, Miami announced on Tuesday afternoon.

"We are pleased with this ruling and appreciate the NCAA recognizing that this waiver met the criteria under the membership established guidelines," Miami athletic director Blake James said in a release. "We would like to thank the NCAA, as well as Ohio State University, for their assistance and support throughout the waiver process. We look forward to seeing Tate compete for the Hurricanes this season."

Martell announced his transfer from Ohio State to Miami on Jan. 16, shortly after former five-star quarterback Justin Fields transferred from Georgia to Ohio State.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, a substantial part of Martell's argument was that after landing the commitment from Fields, relationships between Ohio State and Martell broke down and the Buckeyes made no efforts to keep Martell in Columbus. That argument carried weight with the NCAA.

“No efforts were made by Ohio State to rectify the feelings between the two,” a source told Jackson. “Tate felt it was in his and Ohio State’s best interests to transfer. Ohio State did not object to that or try to get him to change his mind.”

In a conversation with Eleven Warriors last month, Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said that in most cases, Ohio State would not stand in the way of athletes seeking a waiver.

“Our job is to make sure we create that environment where they made the right choice when they came here, and then they don’t want to leave,” Smith said. “If they’re bumping up against playing time, and this is legit and you see it, and they’re not going to have that opportunity and everything else is good, and they want to go, let them go.

“Now it’s harder if they’re transferring in-conference, and you might play against them next week. But the thing that we can’t do is say every case is the same. Every case is different. And you got to look at it on its own merits.”

According to Jackson, it was "enormously helpful that Ohio State did not object" to the arguments Martell's side presented in the case "even though the Buckeyes were given the opportunity to do so."

With his eligibility granted, Martell will now compete for Miami's starting quarterback spot. The Hurricanes currently have a three-man competition to start between N'Kosi Perry, Jarren Williams and Martell.

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