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Devonte Fields is ineligible to play at Stephen F. Austin this fall

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Jerome Miron / USA TODAY Sports
Devonte Fields showed next-level talent as a freshman in 2012, but it's been all downhill since then.

The Devonte Fields saga took another turn Friday night, when the former TCU star defensive end found out that a suspension from TCU makes him ineligible to play this season at FCS member Stephen F. Austin.

Fields, who was voted the Big 12's preseason defensive player of the year, had tweeted Wednesday that he was transferring to Stephen F. Austin -- a FCS program -- in the wake of being suspended last month by TCU. The suspension came after he was arrested on a misdemeanor assault warrant, stemming from allegations he threatened and punched his ex-girlfriend.

But Stephen F. Austin released a statement Friday night saying, "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 that suspension makes Fields ineligible from participating in football at SFA for at least one year. TCU officials said Friday night that Fields' status was unchanged with that school.

Fields (6-foot-4, 260 pounds) burst on the scene in a big way as a true freshman in 2012, being named Big 12 defensive player of the year after he had 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss. But he played in just three games last season, making only four tackles, because of a suspension and injuries.

Fields said he was the victim of an alleged robbery in January, telling police he was shot at outside his house. But after first consenting to a search of his house, Fields later changed his mind.

Fields looks to have next-level talent. But the suspension makes his future even murkier. Does he try to show he's healthy and play at an NAIA school this season? Does he sit out and try to play at another FBS school -- or for a FCS program -- next season? Does he sit out and try to return to TCU next season? Does he sit out this fall and enter the 2015 NFL Draft? In that scenario, he has played just one full season in college, and his off-field issues could outweigh his one highly productive season.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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