Suspended TCU defensive end Devonte Fields has backed out of his plan to enroll at Stephen F. Austin after a TCU committee ruled he was ineligible to receive a transfer waiver, the school announced Friday.
"After originally agreeing to grant a release to Devonte Fields, which would allow him to enroll and play football at Stephen F. Austin, Texas Christian University has since convened a committee and declared that Fields' violations of the student honor code has warranted his suspension from the school," Stephen F. Austin said in a statement.
Stephen F. Austin said it would make Fields ineligible, prohibiting him from participating in football-related activities there for at least one year.
"In light of these developments, Fields has decided not to enroll at SFA," the school said.
TCU officials said only Friday night that Fields' status with the Big 12 school was unchanged.
"Devonte Fields' status as a TCU student has not changed in the past three weeks. He remains separated. As with any student who is alleged to have violated the university's student code of conduct, he will remain separated until all university processes are completed," TCU said in a statement. "His inability to transfer to another NCAA institution and be eligible to play immediately is due to an NCAA rule (18.104.22.168) which states that 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."
Fields has submitted an appeal with the university's judicial committee and that process should be resolved in the next week, according to a source close to the situation. If Fields' appeal is denied, his dismissal from the university would likely become official.
One potential option for Fields could be to attend a junior college with the intention of entering the NFL draft in 2015. The third-year sophomore will become draft eligible this spring.
Fields, the Big 12 preseason defensive player of the year, announced on his Twitter account Wednesday that he was leaving TCU to join Stephen F. Austin, a Football Championship Subdivision program.
Stephen F. Austin confirmed the transfer Thursday with the intention of having him join the team immediately, but that plan fell apart in less than 24 hours.
"SFA head football coach Clint Conque will have no comment, stating this (is) a decision of Texas Christian University and is a matter involving Fields and TCU," the school said in a statement.
Fields had been "separated" from TCU while awaiting the ruling of a judicial hearing to determine whether he would be suspended for violating the University Code of Student Conduct. Fields was suspended by the school last month after he surrendered to authorities on a misdemeanor assault warrant, stemming from allegations he threatened his ex-girlfriend and punched her.
Fields posted on his Twitter account that he had a hearing with TCU on Tuesday, but the school has not acknowledged one took place.