NORMAN, Okla. – He has become a familiar face on Owen Field, but a ruling by the Big 12 Conference puts Baker Mayfield’s future in question.
On Wednesday, the Big 12 denied Mayfield’s plea to regain a year of eligibility by not passing a new rule for transfer students.
Mayfield, who transferred to OU from Texas Tech, lost a year of eligibility in the process.
Mayfield petitioned the Big 12 to change that rule, which would give walk-on players who transferred within the conference that year of eligibility back.
The measure, which needed six votes to pass, received a split vote of 5-5.
The decision means this year will be Mayfield’s last season in an OU uniform. However, he would be eligible to transfer to another Division I school outside of the Big 12 Conference.
OU head football coach Bob Stoops released the following statement on the decision.
“I’m incredibly disappointed the rule change proposal wasn’t passed today at Big 12 meetings. I hope the conference will reconsider its decision and put the welfare of student-athletes first. It only makes sense for the Big 12’s rules to be consistent with those of the NCAA when it comes to non-scholarship walk-on student-athletes. Yes, today’s vote impacts Baker Mayfield, but in reality this is about all student-athletes in all sports at Big 12 schools. Again, I’m disappointed for Baker, but also for anyone down the road who may be negatively impacted by today’s vote.”
In 2015, the quarterback received several awards including the Burlsworth Trophy, Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and was named a First Team All-American.
Last season, Mayfield threw for 3,700 yards and 36 touchdowns. He also used his feet to score seven rushing touchdowns.
After the measure failed to pass, Mayfield took to Twitter to send a message to the Big 12 and fans.
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) June 2, 2016
“I am only 21 years old, yet I have been though so much and learned so much more because of it. And I am so thankful for my journey because of it. Many might say that I have been given everything in my life… And you’re right, my Lord and Savior gave me everything. But I have not been spoon fed by any means. He blessed me with parents who taught me to outwork anybody till I should satisfied. [sic] Because of them I was raised in a very secure area and surrounded by many great people, but that doesn’t mean it was always easy. I lost multiple competitions though middle school and high school. They pushed me through it till my goals were reached. That taught me to outwork anybody in my way.
I watched as our family struggled financially, and rented houses around the town just so I could finish my high school career where I grew up. That taught me to battle through circumstances. Yes I was given offers in high school, but none of which were schools that I believed I could push myself to reach my potential. Once again my parents encouraged me to pick a big time university where I could chase my dreams, even when they could not afford it. I chose to go the hard route of walking on instead of the easiest option. That taught me to never settle or be satisfied with where I am.
Texas Tech allowed me to chase that dream and I am so thankful for that university. There I was blessed with the opportunity to play football for the NCAA and the conference I always hoped of playing in. Circumstances changed, and for the better of both schools I chose to leave and further pursue my gaosl at the university I dreamed of going to when I was a kid. Still while my parents couldn’t afford it, but they made the sacrifices for my future. Those steps taught me to always do what’s best for my family and friends; and if I am not happy, to go do something about it.
Once at the University of Oklahoma, I sat out for a year. Which was not easy for me. I struggled having to watch from the sidelines. I struggled with the fact that I could not do anything to help my teammates out. I struggled with the fact that no matter how hard I worked, I would not be able to test my ability on Saturdays. Although I was at the school I love, I was miserable. I was miserable watching the game I always played, but was not allowed to play because I chose to walk on to another school. That taught me to always find happiness no matter my circumstance.
After I served my year of sitting out, I pushed myself harder than I ever could have imagined… Just to finally earn a scholarship and later my position on the team. It was not easy and by no means went by quickly. I had lots of pressure and it made my once called “dream” seem more like a job. This taught me to enjoy the process because it does not last forever. This past season was so fun and it made all the work and struggles worth it. Although I’m not satisfied with how we ended up, I am thankful for the opportunity I had to go play the game I love with my teammates while we represented OU. This season taught me that even when I am in my darkest moments, there is so much more ahead. And that any pain I go through will be worth it in the end.
Now going in to my final year, I plan [sic] making it my best one yet. I plan on using every lesson I have learned to keep pushing myself and my team. I plan on staying open to learning even more so I can keep getting better and growing. This next year/season I do not know what all I will learn, but I am excited to do so. Fans of Sooner Nation, thank you so much for welcoming me with open arms and supporting me through thick and thin. And to the people that do not like me, you probably think I have been given everything in my life, that I am a spoiled crybaby, and I respect that because it is your opinion that you are entitled to. But I really do not care. But I’ll be damned if I let somebody think I have been handed everything. I take advantage of the opportunities I am given. I work hard and I earn my teammates and coach’s respect because of that. I know how to make the most of my chances, that’s what my life has taught me. And if you don’t get the point already, I will be making the most out of my last season I get to suit up for Oklahoma. I can’t wait to get started,” Mayfield wrote.