Martell Wins Immediate Eligibility, Sets Major NCAA Precedent

Like the guy who took his job at Ohio State, Tate Martell petitioned the NCAA for immediate eligibility following his transfer to Miami back in January.

And, like the guy who took his job at Ohio State, Martell won his hardship waiver.

The difference, not just between Martell and Justin Fields, but between Martell and everyone else, is that the new Hurricane's petition was based on "coaching turnover"—which was both misattributed and exaggerated.

Martell was recruited to Ohio State by the now-infamous Zach Smith while Tim Beck and Ed Warinner shared offensive play-calling duties. By the time he arrived in Columbus, Beck and Warinner were gone—replaced by Ryan Day.

Fast forward two years later, head coach Urban Meyer is gone, Day’s the head coach, and Smith’s firing off mean tweets and cashing unemployment checks.

Does that qualify as significant turnover? Evidently it does. But if a player whose head coach was replaced by his position coach can win immediate eligibility based on that? Well, then any player whose head coach leaves for any reason should—and presumably will—be welcome to transfer with immediate eligibility.

Nevermind the fact that we can all be pretty sure that Martell's reason for transferring was Fields and Fields, alone. It’s impossible for a player to have more familiarity with his new head coach, two years in, than what Martell has with Day.

Compare that to what happens every year at Alabama. 

For that matter, compare that to basically every head coaching change that took place this winter at every program other than Ohio State.

Count this as a win for the student-athlete if you want to. You wouldn't necessarily be wrong in doing so. But understand that this right here is going to mean open season on the campuses of any program that experiences a coaching change in the future.

For better or for worse.

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