Defensive end Devonte Fields won’t be playing football at TCU or at Stephen F. Austin this season.
After originally agreeing to grant a release to the preseason Big 12 defensive player of the year, TCU has suspended Fields from the school for violations of the student honor code.
TCU’s decision renders Fields ineligible and prohibits him from participating in football-related activities at SFA, his intended destination, for at least one year, according to a release by the Nacogdoches school.
TCU coach Gary Patterson said he would have liked to have seen the transfer to SFA go through for Fields, who had completed academic work to make it possible.
“Academically, he’s good to go,” Patterson said. “I need to find out if we have any avenues where that can become possible.”
According to Article 126.96.36.199 of the NCAA Division I Manual, a student who transfers to an NCAA institution while under a disqualification or suspension from previous institution must sit out of competition for one year before they can become eligible.
“A student who transfers to any NCAA institution from a collegiate institution while the student is disqualified or suspended from the previous institution for disciplinary reasons [as opposed to academic reasons] must complete one calendar year of residence at the certifying institution,” the rule states.
In light of the new developments, Fields has decided not to enroll at SFA.
Fields was “separated” from TCU — banned from the campus and all school activities —following an assault complaint against him last month by an ex-girlfriend. Fields surrendered to authorities July 24 on a misdemeanor assault warrant and was released on bond.
Before Friday’s ruling by TCU, the two schools had a verbal agreement to release Fields to play at SFA, an FCS school where Fields would have immediate eligibility under NCAA transfer rules, according to SFA officials.
Lumberjacks coach Clint Conque will have no comment on the matter, according to the school’s statement, saying this matter involves Fields and TCU.