Maurice Smith’s mother feels that Alabama is blocking her son’s transfer to Georgia.
Smith, a defensive back, has said he wants to transfer from the Tide and is set to graduate this weekend. As a graduate transfer, he would be eligible to play immediately. His mother Samyra told Dawg Nation that her son “wants to go to Georgia. Period.” And that she met with Alabama coach Nick Saban about the situation.
“The university is continuing to be resistant to any request to release my son. That’s where we are,” Samyra Smith said. “In (Saban’s) mind, the best decision is for him to stay here. And he doesn’t think anything other than that is best for the kid.”
Schools are free to place restrictions on where athletes can transfer, though it’s usually not a good look given that coaches are relatively free to change jobs with little to no penalty.
In this case, it’s obvious that Alabama is blocking Smith’s transfer to Georgia — former Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is now the head coach for the Bulldogs — rather than simply being a matter of preventing an inter-conference transfer.
Why? Former Alabama wide receiver Chris Black is now at Missouri. Black was a graduate transfer after the 2015 season and is eligible to play in 2016 for the Tigers. Alabama doesn’t play Missouri or Georgia in 2016.
Samyra Smith made sure to note Black’s transfer in her comments to Dawg Nation.
“So what is it, is it really about my son, or is it about Kirby Smart and Nick Saban? I don’t know what it is” Samyra Smith said. “You just had a player leave, Chris Black, and he’s at an SEC school, Mizzou. So don’t tell me it’s about a violation of rules, I can read you the rules, I understand them well. It’s not a violation of rules or else the SEC would’ve stopped it, the commissioner would’ve stopped it. But it’s allowed.
“So you make the choice about what’s best for the child, if you truly care about the kid. Because knowing he’s not happy here, the next-best option for him is going to a program where he’s the most comfortable, where he can have a level of success that he believes he can have.”
Smith will be a senior in 2016 even if he stays at Alabama. He had seven special teams tackles in 2015 and started two games at cornerback. He’ll likely be a key special teams contributor in 2016 if he stays with the team.
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