Justin Fields' attorney says racism wasn't a factor in NCAA eligibility waiver
The NCAA’s decision to grant Justin Fields immediate eligibility after transferring from Georgia to Ohio State was one of the bigger stories this offseason.
After Fields made the decision to transfer and pushed the NCAA for immediate eligibility, many thought the grounds for a waiver stemmed from a racist incident that occurred during the season. At a home game, a Georgia baseball player hurled a racial slur at Fields. The player was later kicked off the baseball team.
However, Fields’ attorney Tom Mars says racism wasn’t really a factor in the situation.
“Irrefutable documentation that has nothing to do with racism was presented to the NCAA in support of OSU’s request that Justin Fields be given a waiver,” Mars told ESPN. “That information wasn’t critical of — and didn’t reflect poorly on — the UGA culture, the UGA administration or staff, any particular student, or the student body. And it certainly didn’t reflect poorly on Justin or any member of his family. However, that documentation did provide support for the issuance of a waiver under the NCAA’s rules.”
Last year, the NCAA made an amendment to its transfer guidelines for non-graduate transfers to pursue immediate eligibility under certain circumstances. Due to more high-profile players beginning to transfer, the NCAA is once again reviewing the process and guidelines.
Fields is a former five-star prospect and is the highest-rated player Ohio State has ever landed.