Former Alabama-to-Georgia grad transfer Maurice Smith opens up about difficult process
Prior to the 2016 season, then-Alabama DB Maurice Smith decided he wanted to transfer to Georgia after graduating from Alabama.
However, that kicked off a long process and battle with coach Nick Saban and the SEC about whether the school could block him from transferring to another program in the conference.
Smith eventually won his case and played for the Bulldogs, but now Alabama is once again trying to block a player — OL Brandon Kennedy — from making a similar move. Smith recently opened up to The Read Optional and described just how difficult the entire process was:
It was, from start to finish, another power struggle. Coach Saban had so much power, and he didn’t agree with the rule. Most of the time we met with the Southeastern Conference, it was a one-sided deal. It was like: “It’s your word vs. his, and your word means nothing.”
For a long period of time it felt pointless. I guess once we started to throw different things out, they started to see my side — that it wasn’t just about playing time. They saw that Georgia had an Academy that Alabama didn’t, that I’m still doing my masters in.
The last appeal we had, right before camp, around July, we didn’t think we had a chance. You could see it on the committee’s faces. But once the ruling came out, it was like “wow”, we couldn’t believe we’d won.
Smith also opens up about how difficult it was for him to be shunned by the Alabama program, to the point where he had to have teammate Hootie Jones sneak meals to him.
The entire Q&A is well worth a read and can be found here.