Former Ohio State quarterback Tate Martell was in the process of crafting a transfer waiver appeal last year while with the Buckeyes, citing Urban Meyer's three-game suspension as a reason, multiple sources have told CBS Sports.
It is not believed Martell ultimately filed the appeal with the NCAA and may have been advised against it. Last season, Martell stayed for his redshirt freshman campaign as a backup for Heisman Trophy finalist Dwayne Haskins.
It's not clear if Meyer's suspension was the sole reason Martell considering an appeal. Meyer was suspended before the season for what the school called "insufficient management action" regarding former Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith.
Martell's action came before the Oct. 15 opening of the transfer portal that ushered in a new era of transfer freedom for players.
Meyer landed Martell, a four-star prospect from national power Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, as part of the Buckeyes' Class of 2017. Smith was the main recruiter dealing with Martell, according to 247Sports.
Martell announced a transferred to Miami last month.
Ohio State told CBS Sports it was not aware that Martell was considering an in-season transfer request and waiver appeal over Meyer's suspension.
"We have great respect and appreciation for what Tate brought to our program and we wish him all the best as he begins this new chapter as a student-athlete," the program said in a statement. "This isn't something that we were aware of prior to your request for comment."
NCAA rules state Martell must sit out the 2019 season and spend a "year-in-residence" before seeing the field with the Hurricanes. However, Martell has retained Phoenix-based attorney Travis Leach to pursue a waiver that would allow him to become immediately eligible.
The Toledo Blade reported last month that Meyer's retirement and the resulting staff turnover are major reasons for Martell's current appeal.
"There's more to it than that," said Leach, who did not elaborate.
Leach did not want to comment further because of the sensitive nature of the appeal. NCAA rules state that, to win an appeal and become immediately eligible, an athlete must prove a "specific, extraordinary circumstance."
Is coaching turnover almost two years after Martell signed with Ohio State that extraordinary circumstance? Skeptics have pointed out coaching staffs change all the time. Despite a Big 12 proposal last year suggesting players be released from their scholarships in the event of a coaching change, players are still bound to their schools even if a coach leaves shortly after National Signing Day.
Since Dec. 30, 2018, 10 FBS programs have been impacted by a retirement, firing or a coach taking another job. Ironically, Martell's new coach spent 18 days on at Temple before returning to Miami. Following Mark Richt's retirement, Diaz was brought back to coach the Canes.
As late as December before Ohio State's Rose Bowl game against Washington, Martell seemed to pledge his allegiance to the Buckeyes. That was amid reports Georgia five-star quarterback Justin Fields was transferring to Ohio State.
"Why would I leave for someone who hasn't put a single second into this program yet?" Martell told reporters at the time. "I've put two years of working my ass off for something that I've been waiting for and dreaming of having my whole life."
He added: "I want to play for Ohio State. It's been my dream since I was born to play for Ohio State, and I'm not just going to walk away from something that I've put so much time into and there's not a chance that I won't go out there and compete and fight for my job."
Less than two weeks after Fields's transfer became official on Jan. 4, Martell announced his transfer to Miami.
Martell did not respond to a request for comment.