Since offensive lineman Cade Mays left Georgia to transfer to Tennessee, there were some heated words shared about the Georgia program, including being called “toxic.”

The two teams meet this week for the first time since the transfer, and lawsuit involving Mays and Georgia, and Georgia coach Kirby Smart was asked about it at his regular Monday press conference. Smart said he didn’t anticipate Mays transferring at the time of the Sugar Bowl last season.

“I thought Cade’s done a tremendous job for us, I’ve got a lot of respect for Cade as a player and a person,” Smart said. “That’s all I can say about it, he’s no longer with us. I look forward to the matchup, he’s a really good football player, one of the toughest players that I’ve been around and looking forward to the matchup.”

Asked about the SEC allowing transfers within the conference to be eligible this season, Smart said that’s a commissioner decision.

Smart was asked about Tennessee coach Jeremy Pruitt describing Georgia as “not the healthiest environments,” for Mays, and if it affected his relationship with Pruitt.

“Not really,” Smart said. “I know coaches in the SEC will do anything they can to get guys eligible, and that’s their decision.”