February 9, 2019 / 5:42 AM / 6 months ago

College football notebook: OSU QB Fields eligible to play in '19

The NCAA ruled that transfer quarterback Justin Fields is eligible to play immediately for Ohio State in the 2019 season, the university announced Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Nov 17, 2018; Athens, GA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs quarterback Justin Fields (1) runs for a touchdown against the Massachusetts Minutemen during the first half at Sanford Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Fields, a five-star recruit in the Class of 2018, played last season at Georgia but entered the NCAA transfer portal after the regular season. Fields will enter spring camp as the overwhelming favorite to replace starter Dwayne Haskins, who entered the NFL draft.

“I am happy for Justin and his family,” Ohio State head coach Ryan Day said in a statement. “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.”

A five-star recruit and the No. 2-ranked player in the class behind Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, Fields couldn’t take the starting job at Georgia from incumbent Jake Fromm. Fields appeared in 12 games but saw limited action for the Bulldogs, completing 27 passes for 328 yards and four touchdowns.

—The Clemson board of trustees approved $150,000 raises for co-offensive coordinators Tony Elliott and Jeff Scott, bringing each assistant’s salary to $1 million annually.

That gives the Tigers three assistant coaches who make at least $1 million annually, along with defensive coordinator Brent Venables. His $2.2 million salary was the second-highest in FBS in 2018, according to USA Today’s salary database, trailing only LSU defensive coordinator Dave Aranda ($2.5 million).

Much of the rest of the Tigers’ staff will also receive raises after Clemson won its second national title in three seasons with a dominant 44-16 win over Alabama, capping a 15-0 season.

—Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith has stepped down from the College Football Playoff committee, citing the need to spend more time assisting his school’s football program.

Gary Barta, the athletic director at Iowa, will replace Smith as the Big Ten’s representative, CFP executive director Bill Hancock announced. Barta will begin his three-year term this spring.

Ryan Day replaced the retired Urban Meyer as the Buckeyes’ head coach last month.

—Former Vanderbilt athletic director David Williams died at age 71, the university announced.

According to the Tennessean, Williams collapsed at Pancake Pantry, a restaurant near campus, at approximately 10:30 a.m. CT on Friday. He later died at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, according to published reports.

Williams had recently retired after 16 years as Vanderbilt’s athletic director. His last day on the job was Jan. 31. Williams was the first black athletic director in Southeastern Conference history.

—The powerhouse North Dakota State football team has been invited to the White House to be honored by President Donald Trump.

The Bison won their seventh FCS national title in the past eight seasons in 2018, and North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven announced that the president had extended an invitation to the squad.

North Dakota State went 15-0 this season and recorded a 38-24 victory over Eastern Washington in the championship game.

—Maryland defensive back Raymond Boone was hospitalized overnight after becoming sick during an indoor workout, according to the Baltimore Sun.

Boone, who will be a sophomore next season, assured fans he was fine in a statement released by the athletic department. According to the report, the training staff placed Boone in an ice bath and took the appropriate steps to treat him.

The university fired head coach DJ Durkin and two athletic trainers after an investigation into the death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair last season.

—Field Level Media

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