UPDATE | Fields gets waiver to play immediately for Ohio State


COLUMBUS (AP) — Quarterback Justin Fields has been granted a waiver that will allow him to play immediately for Ohio State after transferring from Georgia.

The former five-star recruit transferred to the Buckeyes after he got stuck behind Jake Fromm on Georgia's depth chart.

Ohio State today announced the NCAA has approved Fields' request for a waiver of the rule requiring transfers to sit out a year. Fields is expected to compete for the starting quarterback spot after Dwayne Haskins Jr. left early to enter the NFL draft.

Fields was the target of a racial slur from a Georgia baseball player during a football game in September, and there was speculation the incident would become part of his appeal for a waiver. The NCAA can grant immediate eligibility to a transferring player who has "documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete's control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete."

In a statement issued by Ohio State, Fields said speculation about his transfer "took on a life of its own."

"I have no regrets about my time at UGA and have no hard feelings for the school or football program," Fields said. "My overall experience at UGA was fully consistent with UGA's commitment to diversity and inclusion."

He said he would not make any further comments about his transfer and looks forward to preparing for the season.

"I am happy for Justin and his family," Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. "I also want to express my appreciation to the NCAA for its assistance in getting this matter resolved efficiently and with such a positive outcome for Justin."

5:13 p.m.

ESPN reported today that Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Justin Fields has received a waiver from the NCAA and will be eligible to play the 2019 season, the university announced.

The waiver allows Fields to forgo the usual one-year waiting period for a transferring student-athlete. He is expected to be the front-runner to win Ohio State's starting job when spring practice opens in March.

Fields joined the Buckeyes in January after spending his first semester of college playing for his home-state Georgia Bulldogs. The former five-star prospect threw four touchdown passes and ran for four more while playing sparingly behind starter Jake Fromm last fall.

"I am happy for Justin and his family," Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. "I also want to express my appreciation to the NCAA for its assistance in getting this matter resolved efficiently and with such a positive outcome for Justin."

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