The 2016 season will be Baker Mayfield’s last at Oklahoma after the Big 12 rejected a rule change that would allow non-scholarship players transferring within the conference not to lose a year of eligibility.
A vote by 10 faculty athletic representatives resulted in a 5–5 tally. One more vote would have approved the rule change.
Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione made a case for Mayfield—who played as a walk-on at Texas Tech before joining the Sooners as a walk-on at first—and also presented instances where other student-athletes could follow the model without losing a year of eligibility.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby says the representatives that voted in opposition to the walk-on rule did not want Big 12 teams to poach other teams’ walk-ons by luring them with scholarship offers, according to Jake Trotter of ESPN.com.
Mayfield is expected to graduate during this academic year and can transfer to any non-Big 12 school as a graduate student and still have a year of eligibility for 2017.
Mayfield finished last season as the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year with 3,700 yards and 36 touchdowns. He finished in fourth place in Heisman trophy voting. The Oklahoma Sooners reached the College Football Playoff before losing to Clemson.