Big 12 Votes to Change Transfer Rule for Walk-Ons: Details, Reaction

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2016

MANHATTAN, KS - NOVEMBER 21:  A general view of the the Big 12 logo painted on the field during a game between the Kansas State Wildcats and the Iowa State Cyclones on November 21, 2015 at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas.  (Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

The Big 12 voted to change a transfer rule for walk-ons that would allow them to change schools within the conference and not lose a year of eligibility.

George Schroeder of USA Today reported the Big 12's faculty athletic representatives voted 7-3 in favor of the change. John E. Hoover of TheFranchiseOK.com confirmed the news. 

Citing sources, ESPN.com's Jake Trotter reported Thursday the conference was re-examining the proposal "with different language" after a 5-5 vote Wednesday failed to produce the majority necessary to pass new rules. 

"Sources said part of the new language being discussed would allow a walk-on's school to offer a scholarship to keep him," Trotter added. "If the walk-on then still elected to transfer within the conference, the player would face the league's transfer eligibility restrictions."

Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castiglione and head coach Bob Stoops released a statement regarding the news, via Eric Bailey of the Tulsa World

On Wednesday, Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby told Trotter "opposition to the walk-on rule change didn’t want Big 12 teams luring other team’s walk-ons with the promise of scholarships."

While the passage of a new rule with that language will have major implications down the road, in the short term it possibly alters the playing status of Oklahoma Sooners quarterback Baker Mayfield. 

Mayfield reacted to the reported results of the vote:

The reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year transferred to Oklahoma from Texas Tech following his freshman season and is slated to enter his final year of eligibility after being forced to sit out the 2014 season. But under the new rules, Mayfield would reportedly be able to recoup that season since he walked on at Texas Tech before latching on with the Sooners. 

Trotter also noted that even if the Big 12 doesn't change its rules regarding walk-on transfer eligibility, Mayfield could still snag a fourth year of eligibility by becoming a graduate transfer and going to another Power Five school. 

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