Report: Alabama trashed Maurice Smith's personal belongings after talking to Nick Saban about transfer
It’s safe to assume that Maurice Smith did not envision his plans of transferring from the University of Alabama to go this poorly.
Smith, a senior defensive back that appeared in 22 games for the Crimson Tide over the last three seasons, told coach Nick Saban of his plans to leave the program in hopes of more playing time back in June before making it public. And if weren’t suiting up for college football’s Goliath, it probably would have been an easy process — much smoother than it’s gone to this point, at least.
Since his announcement, reports have indicated that Alabama has been uncooperative with Smith’s desires all the way through, even recently blocking his attempt to transfer to Georgia — where he would join former Tide defensive coordinator, Kirby Smart. But apparently that’s not even the worst of it.
According to a report from DawgNation.com, Smith was “ostracized” by his superiors and teammates after he informed the team of his decision to leave. Smith wrote to Alabama’s appeal committee on July 1, which was provided to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday by Smith’s mother, Samyra:
“On Friday, June 17, I arrived at the athletic facility locker room to find my locker cleaned out and all of my personal belongings in the trash (photo attached) underneath trash,” Smith wrote. “These personal items included my family photos, written goals, inspirational and sentimental items memorializing my deceased former friend, roommate and teammate, Altee Tenpenny, and items of personal value from my former teammates.”
The letter says that the madness began on June 13, when Smith initially requested a “permission to contact” from Alabama’s compliance department.
“I was immediately contacted by UA coaching assistants and advised I would no longer be able to “work-out” with the team.”
Four days later, Saban met with Smith and told him he didn’t need a “formal document” to speak with other schools. Smith insisted on one, according to the letter, and then Saban told him he would not release him to any SEC schools. Smith then received a “permission to contact” form.
Not long after, an unidentified Alabama staffer told Smith that he could no longer work out at the athletic facility. Another staff member later told him he was no longer allowed at the athletic facility “to workout, to eat, or anything.”
“Although I had done nothing wrong, I basically was ostracized from the team and felt I was being forced to make a decision to transfer.”
Smith is set to graduate from Alabama this Saturday. In his letter, he finished with one final message:
“Please do not punish my success and instead reward the efforts of discipline, and determination that UA requires in all of their student-athletes to succeed.”
It does not seem like this is a story that will be going away anytime soon.