Devonte Fields' second chance at major college football has a problem: academic eligibility. The star pass rusher hasn't yet been certified by the University of Louisville or the NCAA as he continues to take summer classes.
"That's an ongoing process, and we've got two more weeks (before camp)," Petrino said on Tuesday, per the Louisville Courier-Journal. "You find out something new every day."
Fields was the 2012 Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year as a freshman with TCU after recording 10 sacks and 18.5 tackles for loss, but was dismissed from the program a year ago following an alleged domestic violence incident. Fields played at Trinity Valley Community College last year, after which Petrino signed him. The misdemeanor assault case was dismissed this summer after Fields completed anger management courses.
"The legal case has been cleared and everything dropped, but we're just waiting on certification," Petrino said.
Fields is being counted on to help rebuild a Louisville defense that lost six starters to the NFL draft in May.
According to the report, Louisville's fall classes begin on Aug. 24. Although colleges have late enrollment provisions, that date stands as something of a deadline for Fields' academic certification if he hopes to play for the Cardinals this season. The hang-up could be a crucial one for both Fields and the team. Louisville lost its top pass rusher to the draft in Lorenzo Mauldin, and Fields would likely fit that role. For Fields, his status for the 2016 NFL Draft can ill-afford any more problems -- he needs both a strong season on the field and a showing of good behavior at UL.