Remember how Kirby somberly assured us at last week’s presser that Turman didn’t seek an appeal because he wasn’t being prevented from going anywhere he really wanted to go?
Turman, speaking on Monday, confirmed one thing Smart said in his press conference on Saturday: He had no interest in following head coach Mark Richt and running backs coach Thomas Brown to Miami. Smart said he put the Miami restriction in Turman’s release because he “wanted to set a precedent.”
However, Turman did say he would have been interested in exploring a transfer to Florida.
“But I know that’s a rivalry for Georgia, so that’s why he did that,” Turman said of Smart’s decision. “But I also wanted to be able to contact any schools outside of Florida. I didn’t want this blowing up into a big deal, because I love Georgia. .. I didn’t want this to become such a big deal, like it did. But that’s just how it went.”
Turman also said he filed an appeal after Smart initially denied him a release anywhere. That appeal went through UGA, as allowed under NCAA rules. (That led to a miscommunication, where Turman believed he was filing an appeal with the NCAA.) Either way, it was made a moot point when Smart relented and allowed Turman the limited release.
Not even close.
“I got denied my transfer twice when I talked to him and met with him,” Turman said Monday. “He said he’s not going to let anybody from the University of Georgia transfer because you made a commitment here. Even though he didn’t recruit us, he said he would not let anybody transfer from the University of Georgia.”
I have to say, coming from a guy who left Alabama and took two assistants under contract there with him, “he’s not going to let anybody from the University of Georgia transfer because you made a commitment here” is straight out of the how to be a controlling bastard playbook. And looking the assembled multitudes in the eye and assuring everyone of something that wasn’t in fact true isn’t very cool, either.
Not only that, but Smart and Turman have apparently agreed upon a new deal that isn’t what Kirby claimed he was granting when he went on the record about this – which, by the way, appears to have been widely misunderstood by everyone.
The release granted last week only gave Turman the chance to transfer to a school in Florida, other than Miami or Florida. The new release will allow Turman to go to schools outside of Florida – other than Georgia Tech or SEC schools.
In other words, the original deal wasn’t that Turman could go anywhere but two places. It was that he couldn’t go anywhere outside the state of Florida. That’s beyond ridiculous. What’s in place now isn’t great, but at least it’s not as obnoxious. But I guess we now know what “case by case” means, as Smart will haggle over terms with every departing player. Maybe he’ll require them to sign confidentiality agreements in return for being allowed to go. (I think I’m kidding about that.)
If this is the transfer culture Greg McGarity’s on board with now, it’s not a good look for him, Smart or the school. If Kirby was worried about kids leaving and bad mouthing the program on the recruiting trail, it seems to me with this he’s created his own problems there. Disappointing, to say the least.
UPDATE: Nothing says owning it like this…
A request by the Athens Banner-Herald to Georgia seeking details of the release Turman received was denied citing student privacy laws.
Georgia’s transfer culture: doin’ it for the kids!