OU Removes Block; Kendall Expected To Transfer To WVU
Following a huge social media outcry which excoriated its initial decision, the University of Oklahoma will not block the transfer of graduating quarterback Austin Kendall to West Virginia, according to USAToday national college football writer George Schroeder.
BREAKING: Oklahoma will grant grad transfer QB Austin Kendall the waiver to be immediately eligible at West Virginia, @usatodaysports
The school worked through its concerns over a transfer within the Big 12 to arrive at the decision.
— George Schroeder (@GeorgeSchroeder) January 16, 2019
Other reports initially held that OU would block Kendall’s transfer to West Virginia, and perhaps to other schools within the Big 12. While the Big 12 does allow intraconference football transfers, the rules are different for scholarship and non-scholarship athletes, as well as for those earning an undergraduate degree, which makes them eligible for a “one-time exception” as defined by the NCAA. From the NCAA manual:
14.6.1 One-Time Transfer Exception. A graduate student who is enrolled in a graduate or professional school of an institution other than the institution from which he or she previously received a baccalaureate degree may participate in intercollegiate athletics if he or she fulfills the conditions of the one-time transfer exception set forth in Bylaw 126.96.36.199.10 and has eligibility remaining per Bylaw 12.8.
188.8.131.52.10.d: If the student is transferring from an NCAA or NAIA member institution, the student’s previous institution shall certify in writing that it has no objection to the student being granted an exception to the transfer-residence requirement. If an institution receives a written request for a release from a student-athlete, the institution shall grant or deny the request within seven business days. If the institution fails to respond to the student-athlete’s written request within seven business days, the release shall be granted by default and the institution shall provide a written release to the student-athlete
The third leg of this triangle rests, or in this case is undefined, by the Big 12 Conference. Unlike some leagues, the Big 12 does not have a conference rule which allows immediate eligibility for graduate transfers between league members without a waiver from the school the graduate is leaving. Thus, the NCAA rule applies, and allowed Oklahoma to initially block the transfer.
OU’s initial lean was ripped nationally:
Report that Oklahoma is blocking transfer QB Austin Kendall from becoming eligible in 2019 as grad transfer at WVU, while Oklahoma pursues Jalen Hurts as a grad QB for 2019. Hey OU: Shame.Shame. Shame.
— RodGilmore@espn (@RodGilmore) January 16, 2019
Schroeder also reported that Oklahoma “did not want to set a precedent of allowing a transfer to be immediately eligible at another Big 12 school.”
While OU did get a transfer in-conference from Baker Mayfield, who sat out the 2014 season in doing so, the school was successful in getting a third year of eligibility restored when it convinced other schools in the league to support a retroactive change in rules to allow walk-ons — which Mayfield was at Texas Tech — to transfer without penalty. That very fine line didn’t wash publicly, and while Oklahoma has not commented officially on the decision, it is clear that the massive contradiction played a part in the reversal.
Other schools in the Big 12 did not attempt the same tack. Kansas State did not block the transfer of graduate quarterback Alex Delton, who will suit up for TCU next year.
Now freed by Oklahoma, it appears very likely that Kendall will transfer to WVU. BlueGoldNews.com has learned that Kendall is expected to enroll at West Virginia as early as the end of this academic week. The Mountaineers have just two scholarship quarterbacks — Jack Allison and Trey Lowe — on their 2019 roster. Kendall has already earned his undergraduate degree, completing it on Dec. 15, 2018. He will have two years of eligibility remaining.