Kirby Smart goes against Nick Saban in graduate transfer controversy
Georgia coach Kirby Smart has stated that he will allow his players to leave the program as graduate transfers to other SEC schools, according to the Athens Banner-Herald’s Marc Weiszer.
Kirby Smart says he WILL allow Georgia players to go as graduate transfers to SEC schools. Alabama blocking Maurice Smith.
— Marc Weiszer (@marcweiszer) August 6, 2016
What makes this significant is the ongoing report that indicates Alabama has been uncooperative and disruptive in allowing graduate defensive back Maurice Smith to leave for another school, most recently blocking him from heading to Georgia to re-join Smart for his final year of eligibility.
Here was Alabama’s statement regarding its decision to block Smith from becoming a Bulldog:
“While it’s understandable that questions are being asked about similarities regarding a situation involving another former football student-athlete transferring to an SEC institution, that instance occurred only because of unique circumstances. The student-athlete elected to have surgery in the middle of the season and left the program. Because of the timing of his departure, his scholarship was not renewed, and he requested to use the graduate transfer exception through the SEC. Our decision on this situation to support the SEC waiver was the exception and not the rule. We adhere to the SEC and institutional policies regarding the issues of this manner. Waivers are not provided without compelling circumstances that present clear non-athletics reasons for the transfer. We 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.”
RE Maurice Smith: Kirby Smart says guys should be given opportunity to pursue graduate school even within SEC. Seems firm in the stance
— Jake Reuse (@ReuseRecruiting) August 6, 2016
Smart was the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator from 2008-15.