When Georgia quarterback Justin Fields transferred to Ohio State last month, it was done with the knowledge that there was a possibility that he would not be eligible for the 2019 season.
Fields has retained an attorney in order to help his appeal to the NCAA because he believes he qualifies for immediately eligibility under the NCAA’s guidelines.
In speaking with the media on Wednesday, Fields declined to speak about why he left Georgia, which would seemingly factor into his ability to have his waiver granted. A source close to the situation has told The-Ozone that a positive verdict is expected this week. Still, while many expect that waiver request to be granted, nobody at Ohio State ventured into the realm of guessing.
Instead, they stayed focused on the things that they can control.
“I’m not sure about that right now,” Fields said when asked where things stand with his eligibility. “I’m just trying to get to know the guys better and learn the system and focusing on this season. I’m just focused on being the best quarterback I can be.”
He has enough on his plate to worry about right now as he is acclimating himself into a new football program and learning a new offense. That’s more than enough stress for one person, which is why Fields isn’t trying to worry himself over something that he has no control over.
“I’m not really anxious,” he said. “I’m not really rushing anything because, again, I don’t really control that. They do. I’m just trying to get here to be the best quarterback I can be.”
While Justin Fields may not be losing any sleep over this situation, head coach Ryan Day is.
As Urban Meyer once said, as the head coach his job was to be concerned about everything, and that’s were Day finds himself right now waiting for the NCAA to pass their judgment. Ohio State and Fields have done what they can, and now they wait.
“Those are the guidelines that we have,” Day said. “We have to work those, be on top of them, work them. So, yeah. But it’s not a process that you feel great about and sleep well at night knowing that you’re involved with those processes. It’s kind of one of those things you’ve got to deal with.”
Regardless of what decision is ultimately made, Day and Fields can’t sit around and wait for it to happen. Every day is an opportunity to grow, and so that’s where the day-to-day concerns are right now. The waiver process doesn’t change anything that is happening right now, so things are business as usual in the Ohio State football facilities.
But that doesn’t mean Day isn’t in constant contact with OSU’s side of the waiver process.
“Justin Kume, who handles our compliance, is as good as there is in the business,” Day said. “The way he handles his business, how on top of things he is, he does a great job. The communication between he and I has been on a daily basis to try to work through some of these issues.”
Even though Fields and Day have only been together for a month now, they mirror each other in terms of attitude. In fact, Fields’ approach to the situation is exactly the kind of calm demeanor in the face of the unknown that a coach wants out of his quarterbacks.
“Growing up, I’ve always learned to control the controllables,” Fields said. “I know I can’t control what the NCAA decides, so my focus is on this team and getting better.”
And if the waiver request is denied, it would be disappointing for Fields, but his approach would remain the same.
“I’ll just put my head down and keep working,” he said. “I can’t control that, so I’ll just be ready for the next season.”