I’ve posted about this before, but Maurice Smith is an Alabama defensive back who’s left the program and intends to enroll elsewhere as a graduate transfer. As you might imagine, given that his former defensive coordinator and position coach now reside in Athens, Georgia is a mite bit interested in offering Smith a new place to land. (As are several other programs.) Since he’s a graduate transfer, no problem, amirite?
There’s a complicated situation playing out behind the scenes at Alabama involving a player who is trying to get his release and move on to another school as a graduate transfer.
Senior defensive back Maurice Smith wants to transfer, but has been unsuccessful getting a release despite several attempts during the last month, sources told AL.com.
Smith, who was the Tide’s first-team nickel back during the spring, is now going through an appeal process, according to sources.
It doesn’t sound particularly complicated to me. It sounds like coaches being coaches. On the other hand, I’m not entirely sure what to make of this.
The SEC rule, if you need a reminder, is this:
Now the SEC will allow schools to accept grad student transfers without a waiver if the transfers meet certain standards. Among the criteria for the transfer: always stayed eligible as an undergrad; no significant disciplinary issues at the old school; and earned all possible APR points. If a player doesn’t meet those standards, a school can still go through the current process of seeking a waiver from the SEC office.
Once the transfer comes to an SEC school, the rule requires the player to make progress toward a graduate degree. If that doesn’t happen, the university won’t be able to apply the grad-student exception in that athlete’s sport for three years.
That “progress toward a graduate degree” standard is a bit murky. And the penalty is pretty much a screw job. I can see how that might make Kirby a little nervous about taking Smith, if Georgia were where he wanted to go.