University of Miami

Is the NCAA biased against Miami? Athletic director Blake James offers his thoughts

Getting to know Tate Martell, Miami Hurricane’s newest QB

Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell announced he is transferring to Miami. Here are five things to know about the former four-star recruit.
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Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell announced he is transferring to Miami. Here are five things to know about the former four-star recruit.

Waiver season is underway on the transfer market. On Friday, the NCAA approved a waiver which will let star quarterback Justin Fields play immediately for the Ohio State Buckeyes following his decision to transfer from the Georgia Bulldogs in January.

With the star quarterback’s future determined, the Miami Hurricanes now hope they will be the latest beneficiary of the NCAA’s newfound apparent leniency. Shortly after Fields announced he would transfer to Ohio State, Tate Martell announced he would be transferring from the Buckeyes to Miami.

At baseball media day Tuesday in Coral Gables, Blake James said he expects word on Martell’s waiver “soon,” although the athletic director wouldn’t say how hopeful he is about the quarterback’s appeal for immediate eligibility being granted.

“That’s an NCAA decision, so I know we’re in the process of filing the waiver the getting the results back and whatever they decide, obviously we’ll address that situation when we have the decision from them,” James said inside the home dugout at Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field. “Until then, really, it’s speculation, so I guess I’m only optimistic in that I know we’re going to get a decision soon and then we’ll deal with whatever decision the NCAA gives us, and we’ll move forward as a program.”

Martell’s appeal is different than Fields’. The latter’s hinged upon a racial slur hurled his way during a game last season. Martell’s simply focuses on the coaching change which took place in Columbus this offseason when former coach Urban Meyer retired and Ryan Day took over as the new coach.

It has been a trying year for James and the Hurricanes because of self-inflicted wounds and external forces. The lead-up to men’s basketball season was engulfed by the Adidas-centered corruption scandal and the ensuing trial. The entire season ultimately was derailed by a season-long suspension for Dewan Hernandez handed down by the NCAA.

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A ruling on Martell would just be the latest in a line of NCAA decisions with a major effect on one of Miami’s premier programs. Even though the track record for NCAA decisions regarding the Hurricanes doesn’t point in Miami’s favor, James said he doesn’t feel the NCAA has it out for the Hurricanes.

“No, I don’t think there’s a bias in any way,” James said. “I think the NCAA looks at the rules that are in place and they apply them as they see, and again, as I publicly stated in my statement, I didn’t feel that the Dewan Hernandez case was fairly evaluated in terms of what their decision was, but respect the decision that was made. And I believe they’ll be fair in evaluating Tate’s case and respect the process.”

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