In handling the case surrounding TCU defensive end Devonte Fields, the university wanted to do the following:
1.) Dismiss him from the university for repeated violations.
2.) Put him in a position so he could immediately transfer to another NCAA school where he could continue to play football, and his education.
Fields' plan to transfer to Stephen F. Austin died when the school learned that the defensive end does not meet the requirements for a one-time transfer. Now, both TCU and Fields are stuck.
TCU has been criticized for "blocking" Fields ability to transfer. This is not a deliberate attempt to block Fields from playing at FCS Stephen F. Austin. This sounds more like a case of rules, and a "Sorry, these are the rules. It happens."
The reason Fields does not meet the requirements for a one-time transfer is because of repeated violations of behaviors outlined in the university student-handbook. The school wanted to do right by the kid, and adhere to its own policies. That means he has to sit out a year by NCAA rule.
TCU has said in a statement that Fields' status as a student remains unchanged, and that is he "separated". What Fields must do, and it sounds as if this is the longest of long-shots, is successfully appeal TCU's original decision not to allow him to return to school.
The problem for TCU is that it if it removed his "separation" tag, then - technically - he should be at TCU. Because Fields has several incidents on his record since he arrived at TCU in 2012, the school does not want to send any message that repeat violators will be tolerated. School officials are likely to remain unchanged on their position because of the nature of the injuries sustained to Fields' ex-girfriend in a domestic dispute the two had several weeks ago.
According to multiple sources, TCU did not want to block Fields from playing elsewhere, but the school also wanted to make sure he was dismissed. Other schools had inquired about Fields' eligibility, but were told he would have to sit out one year to play again at an NCAA program.
Fields had successfully regained his academic eligibility with work in summer school, clearing one necessary hurdle to play at any NCAA school. That was when SFA stepped in. Once the school learned of the "separation" from TCU, however, the plan ended.
A compelling argument can be made that TCU should have made an exception because it knew Fields was leaving, and let him begin the process of trying to put his life together. An equally compelling argument can be made that, at some point, rules are indeed rules.
Depending how many credit hours has earned at TCU, Fields could potentially follow the Cam Newton Route and play at a junior college this fall.
In the spring of 2009, the then-Florida QB was reportedly going to be expelled from that school for academic misconduct. In the fall of '08, he had been arrested for buying a stolen computer. Those charges were later dropped after he completed a program for first-time offenders.
Newton transferred to Blinn College where he played for one season, and then transferred to Auburn for one season. He led Auburn to a National Championship, and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. Newton is currently the starting quarterback for the Carolina Panthers.
Another possibility is that Fields does not play this season, and prepares for the 2015 NFL draft. To sit out, however, would essentially mean he will have missed both the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He played in three games in 2013 because of a foot injury.
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