After Justin Fields announced that he would leave Georgia and link up with head coach Ryan Day and Ohio State, it became clear that Tate Martell wasn't in the plans for the immediate future.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Martell transferred to Miami and was the recipient of a "hardship waiver," which lifted the requirement that the transferring player must sit out a full year, enabling Martell to start for Manny Diaz and the Hurricanes this season.
NEW: Here were the behind-the-scenes factors that convinced the NCAA to OK Martell’s waiver: https://t.co/hpJqwV3ZKE— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) March 19, 2019
Martell's lawyer based his argument around the notion that Ohio State gave no intention that they wanted to keep him, which would be detrimental to Martell and his football career. This argument resonated with the NCAA. The Buckeyes themselves didn't contest those arguments at all, which added validity to the argument.
I think what you had here is a situation where the request was made in a way that Ohio State did not oppose what we put in our request and they were cooperative with Miami,” Martell's lawyer Travis Leach said. “That ultimately was helpful to us.”
The Tate Martell Experience, from HS through his redshirt freshman season:— Zach Barnett (@zach_barnett) March 19, 2019
Commit to Washington
De-commit from UW
Commit to Texas A&M
De-commit from A&M
Sign with Ohio State
Leave Ohio State
Win controversial transfer appeal
Play(?) for Miamihttps://t.co/6Do6iB3Bbp
While this saga worked out just fine for Martell, who will likely receive first-team snaps this season, this case could open up a Pandora's box of transfers that create a facsimile free agency in college football. Only time will tell if more players follow the Martell model.