As there continues to be a lack of resolution to the differences between Alabama and defensive back Maurice Smith regarding his desire to transfer, more has emerged as to how contentious the situation has become.
According to Al.com, Smith’s family traveled to Tuscaloosa to meet with Saban last week. As the meeting didn’t go anywhere, Smith’s mother said she told her son and husband to leave the room so she could talk with Saban. The discussion lasted 20 minutes.
According to Samyra Smith, it ended with an angry Saban repeating that he doesn’t feel like it’s in Smith’s best interest to leave Alabama, that he doesn’t think Smith should be able to transfer to another SEC school and that he’s not going to do something that he doesn’t agree with.
Samyra Smith said Saban closed with “That’s all I’ve got to say,” then got up and left the room, leaving her and the member of the compliance department surprised and sitting in Saban’s office by themselves.
After a few moments of awkward silence, Smith’s mother looked at the compliance official, smiled and said, “Alright. I guess the meeting is over.”
Smith, who graduated over the weekend, wants to transfer to Georgia. Per SEC rules, he can do so if Alabama signs off on the transfer. Saban and the Tide are refusing to do so, citing the SEC rule.
The report said Saban apologized to Smith and his father for losing Maurice’s trust after the discussion with Smith’s mother.
Georgia coach Kirby Smart, Alabama’s defensive coordinator in 2015, has said he’d have no problem allowing a player who has graduated to move to another SEC school.
Saban has said he feels its in Smith’s best interest to stay at Alabama, perhaps because the defensive back is likely to be a significant contributor in 2016. Though Smith thinks he could get more playing time and have a better experience elsewhere, hence why he wants to transfer.
There’s also another factor at play that may be making the issue as drawn out as it is. Per the Al.com report, Smith’s mother wrote Saban an email last fall saying she wanted to talk about Maurice’s plans for after graduation. According to Smith, he was then called into a meeting with Saban — with no knowledge of his mom’s email.
This is the way Maurice described that meeting to his parents. Before he even sat down, Smith said Saban yelled at him, “You want to know why you’re not playing? You’re the reason you’re not playing.”
Smith told his parents that there were other harsh and demeaning critiques. What made it worse is that Smith, who was already frustrated with how the season was playing out, had no idea why he was being yelled at until later in the meeting.
We’re just spitballing here, but maybe the middle of what was a national-championship season wasn’t the best time to discuss the future?
Smith ended up telling Alabama he wanted to explore a possible transfer this spring and has previously said he entered the football facility to find his stuff in the trash and was told that he couldn’t work out with the team before he was eventually allowed to do so again.
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