Crimson Tide DB Maurice Smith graduated from Alabama on Saturday, but the occasion was marred by the fact that Nick Saban and the football program won’t let the senior transfer to Georgia, where he’d like to play in 2016.

Georgia coach Kirby Smart, on the other hand, recently said he’d let a UGA graduate transfer to any other program, even another SEC school.

Smith’s mother, Samyra, strongly supported Smart’s point of view, according to a DawgNation artcile:

“I applaud Kirby Smart for openly supporting the choices of graduate transfer students and their ability to freely make them without issue,” Samyra Smith said. “I also hope that student-athletes that are being recruited understand the difference. Our family advocates for student-athletes and believes in following the rules. But in the interest of doing so, one can never eliminate human compassion, wise judgement, and the balance between them all (the institution and student-athlete.)”

Though Alabama released a statement saying the Crimson Tide “remain happy to assist Maurice to enable a transfer to any non-SEC school, and have been doing everything requested regarding that throughout this process,” Smith’s mom doesn’t see why her son can’t play for Georgia.

“No SEC rule is preventing Mo from playing at Georgia this year,” Samyra Smith said. “Nick Saban is blocking him and he is also acting as the SEC commissioner with his comments. The SEC voted to include a waiver, that if five criteria were met, the student-athlete could potentially be waived to sit out a year. Why would any coach who tells recruits and their families that he cares about the kids, not want to help one of his own be successful?”

An Alabama player transferring to an SEC East school has precedent, and it’s happened this year, even. WR Chris Black will suit up for the Missouri Tigers in 2016.

It’s understandable why Samyra Smith is upset. If this beef is between Saban and former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart, it’s not fair to use Maurice Smith as a pawn.

Let’s hope Smith’s situation is resolved soon so he can finish his college career in 2016, whether at Georgia or somewhere else.