And now, the shaming begins.

The question is, can Nick Saban be shamed?


UPDATE:  It’s turning into a full court press.

The parents of Alabama defensive back Maurice Smith were still in Tuscaloosa Wednesday afternoon where their son is still “in a holding place.”

Smith, who graduates on Saturday, wants to transfer to Georgia but coach Nick Saban is blocking him, Smith’s father said. Smith’s parents met with Saban on Tuesday after arriving from Texas.

“He definitely has denied any transfer to want to go to Georgia and anything that Maurice wants to do there,” said his father, also named Maurice Smith. “We’re still hoping that something can come through on that, but at this point it seems like it’s a block.”

The parents say Alabama is being “unfair because the kid is coming into his senior year and he decided he wanted to leave and he’s not having the option to do so. It’s kind of frustrating.”

Smith was “mistreated” at Alabama after asking for his release, his father said.

Because Alabama is blocking Smith’s request to go to Georgia, he has to appeal, per conference rules.  Which means Greg Sankey is about to get dragged into the shit storm.

Smith should meet the requirements to be eligible to play this season as a graduate transfer if he were given a release to go to Georgia, his father said. Alabama and the SEC have not responded to requests for comment.

We’ll see how long that lasts.


Filed under Nick Saban Rules

78 responses to “And now, the shaming begins.

  1. HVL Dawg

    Wow! Congratulations young man.

    Of course, this young man did have an opportunity to go to UGA – three years ago. Let this be an important lesson for all the young men being recruited now.

    And, oh the irony.

  2. I wonder if Mike Greenberg is going to be willing to take Little Nicky to task for this the way he went after Kirby.

  3. stoopnagle

    No, Nick Saban cannot be shamed because he “…doesn’t care. And that’s the end of the discussion.”

    • DawgPhan

      He can be shamed. Let ESPN take this torch and run with it. It will get under his skin.

    • Argondawg

      Yes he can. Negative publicity is not good for recruiting or the program and this is very negative and going to get very loud and ugly. It is not worth it to Saban.

  4. ugafidelis

    That’s a question for the Coke bottle.

  5. DawgPhan

    They should shame Saban and the SEC over this one. The SEC grad transfer bylaw is awful and should be changed. The SEC should grant this kid a waiver as they have done in the past and just keep it moving.

    Smart should send Saban an edible arrangement when Smith lands in Athens.

    • +1 – when you meet your academic requirement by graduating, a player should be a free agent to go wherever he pleases to complete his eligibility and work on his graduate studies.

      • HVL Dawg

        As I understand it, he graduates Saturday. He’s not graduated. So he’s currently enjoying the benefits of his grant while the football team is in practice. Unfortunate quirk of timing.

        • Assuming Little Nicky doesn’t have the award of the young man’s degree delayed, he should be able to sign an athletic scholarship with the school of his choice on Saturday afternoon after commencement as a graduate transfer.

          • Otto

            That was my question can a HC limit transfers when it is a Graduate Transfer? I thought he could not but all the talk makes it look like he can.

            • The rule unfortunately says yes he can limit the ability to transfer.

              • Mayor

                I was unaware of that ee. Is it an SEC rule or part of the NCAA graduate transfer rule?

                • ltrftc

                  SEC Specific. If Smith wants to transfer outside of the SEC, there isn’t anything they can do. Originally he was going to transfer to Baylor… until they… well Baylored.

                • From the context of the comments, it looks like an SEC rule related to graduate transfers. I haven’t read the rules, but that seems to be at the root of all of this. Do you trust the suits in Birmingham to go against Bama’a bidding? I don’t.

  6. heyberto

    The sad thing is, I loved that we could take the moral high ground under Richt. Now.. we really can’t. See AJ Turman.

      • dubyadee

        “The transferring Georgia running back has been given a new “permission to contact” letter that allows him the freedom to look at any school in the nation with the exception of SEC schools, Miami and Georgia Tech.”

      • heyberto

        So… why the not so fast? Kirby’s revised restrictions on Turman are more restrictive than Saban’s on Smith.

    • The thing is, Smith and his family just raised the stakes. This isn’t about Saban v. Smart on transfers anymore. It’s about Alabama mistreating a kid.

      If you don’t think that’s gonna resonate in the national media, based on what I’m seeing in my Twitter feed, it already is. And that’s not good for recruiting.

      • Mark

        There’s was a very astute comment on the article. The person stated this guy had graduated and fulfilled his obligation. There isn’t a transfer involved. Its about graduating and then being able to use the rest of your eligibility at the school of your choice where you can continue your education. I think it is a very good point. At some point, these schools have to just stop trying to getting in the way of these kids transferring. Let them go anywhere they want to go and not sit out a year at all.

        • Otto

          I am for more open transfers especially as the coaches who recruited them say they’ll stay and jump ship. They maybe recruited to run one system and move to another as well. If you’re on academic scholar and entering competition or completing research which brings the school money and/or prestige, they can transfer. They are also free to talk to recruiters but that is another conversation.

          However, this case will have next to no impact on Bama’s recruiting. Kids who sign with Bama know that if they stay and manager to be a regular starter, they will likely have rings and NFL signing bonuses. If they do not get playing time a long list of things have hit the news even being moved to medical scholarships. They have recruited well with past negative press and will continue to do so.

    • The moral high ground was about all I left with me after that whoopin’ Bama gave us last year. Funny, I didn’t even notice I had it in my pocket the whole time as I walked out of the stadium. Must of been distracted. I just now realized it was missing.

      Snark aside I still think we should treat players like Richt did. I guess attention to detail must go hand in hand with an over controlling personality? Trade offs I guess. Still hoping Kirby doesn’t migrate everything from Bama…

    • But AJ Turman wasn’t a graduate, and I think that’s the big difference here. All restrictions should be off once you have a degree.

    • Silver Creek Doug

      Different scenario here. Turman hasn’t earned his undergraduate degree yet. Smith has (as of August 6).

      I’m with eethomas on this one- if you have graduated with eligibility left, you should be allowed to play anywhere you want immediately. After all, doesn’t the NCAA love to tout that they are “student-athletes”? Shouldn’t they be rewarded for, you know, actually taking the student part of the equation seriously?

      • As I mentioned earlier this morning, Little Nicky wouldn’t let this young man go to Stanford to get his MBA and play football if he thought he was going to help his team this year. That’s what this is about. He & Pruitt have this kid tabbed to play the star and don’t want to let him leave.

      • heyberto

        While I get the argument about Turman, we still put restrictions on a kid, and we hadn’t done that before. At least.. not under Richt. I just don’t see how we have some moral high grand to stand on, just because it’s not a graduate transfer.

        IF the NCAA / SEC / Schools / whoever has authority were to alter the terms of a player’s deal.. I could be persuaded otherwise… If scholarships were guaranteed for the term of a SA’s eligibility, and not valid for just a year at a time. If there weren’t the one year loss of eligibility for transferring within Division one (or whatever it’s called now).. then I could possibly get behind it. If Schools can deny a scholarship after each year, the player should be able to opt out on a yearly basis, without penalty. That would be equal. If they didn’t have to sit out a year when transferring, then maybe I’d be alright with restricting where they could play upon transfer. Instead, they’re penalized once by rule, and twice if the school chooses to. I know the intent is to keep from benefitting a direct opponent, not necessarily to punish the kid… but if that’s going to be a ‘possible’ additional penalty, then make it mandatory and remove the other one. That way both sides in the deal get something out of it. But as it stands now, things are stacked unfairly and that’s why I’m not happy about it.

        • Silver Creek Dawg

          Schollys are now good for four years I believe. At least they are at Georgia.

          • heyberto

            Richt would never have pulled a scholarship on a kid with the practical exception being if he kicked the kid off the team. If Georgia’s policy continues that they won’t pull the scholarship, then that’s great.. but I think the NLI is a standard form, so unless it has changed at the NCAA level, or the SEC has instituted it’s own rule, it’s a verbal which means it can change if Kirby / McGarity decide they need to change it to suit some condition. Either way, it’s not like the school is really locked in. If I’m mistaken and it is in a binding agreement between the player and school, then I stand corrected. Certainly, I haven’t hear of anything.

    • PTC DAWG

      Turman had graduated?

  7. GATA 72

    My money is on Saban over Greenberg

  8. Herschel Krustofsky

    Napoleon Nick welcomes this fight with all the pussies in the media. He’s owned them up to this point, so why worry now?

    • He won’t care a lick right up to the point where it affects recruiting. Until then, talk to the coke bottle.

    • So why didn’t Saban stick to his guns and wait to see how the charges against Jonathan Taylor played out before dismissing him from the team?

      • Herschel Krustofsky

        Fair point

        • I’m not saying Saban worries much about what the media thinks – hence, my post – but there are limits to his disdain.

          If this thing blows up enough that he starts getting serious pushback, especially in recruiting, it’ll be interesting to see if he caves. Keep in mind coach/school shaming has in fact worked for student-athletes at other places.

          • Dylan Dreyer's Booty

            Saban needs to feel the pushback pretty soon if it is going to do the kid any good. School starts around the corner. I see Saban ducking the issue until it’s too late for the kid to enroll for fall, and then caving so he can tell recruits its all good…but still get his way. Funny thing is, the only way this kid makes a difference to Alabama is if UGA gets to the Dome. Maybe Nick thinks he knows something….

            • heyberto

              Well, considering the D coordinator that was a big part of his past success is our head coach, I’d say this kid’s knowledge isn’t a big deal.

            • heyberto

              Meant to also say… the only way Saban feels any heat is for him to get bitten in the ass with it on the recruiting trail.

              • Chi-town Dawg

                DDB, much like the Turman transfer situation, I think Saban wants to send a message to his players that you can’t up and leave for your old coaches just like we did with Richt. Yes, the restriction applies to any SEC school, but can and has been waived before ala Missouri, but I agree that Saban will likely play it out just as you described. I don’t see any real impact on recruiting as Saban has done far worse before without any real impact.

                Anyone who believes the Smith and Turman scenarios are different because one of them graduated is splitting hairs. Yes, the fact one has graduated should matter, but it doesn’t according to the SEC rules. I agree with heyberto that it’s a double standard to try and take the moral high ground with Smith after we placed even more restrictions on Turman.

                Senator, I think the big issue with Taylor was the lightening rod of domestic battery and assault charges attached to him especially as a repeat offender. I don’t see the same level of “societal concern” surrounding graduate player transfers that existed with Taylor, which is why I think Saban is content to dig in his heels no matter what the media says and let things play out at his own pace.

      • Otto

        Penn St and what Baylor is facing now. Grad Transfer rules are not the same type of press.

  9. Mark

    I should probably brush upon the rule before commenting but can’t the kid go anywhere once he has the degree…like Lambert did leaving UVa? In that case, Saban is just unnecessarily playing the hardass right up until the kid graduates. Also, Turman is a different situation and I hope Greenberg and Mark Bradley will state the facts…Turman had not graduated and Smart was just setting precedent on the first transfer in his regime and using it on a kid that it didn’t affect because Turman had no intention of going to UM while Smith will be a graduate and wants to come to UGA.

  10. Dawg_Dave

    This looks really bad for Bama. Doesn’t matter who you are you can’t trash a kids stuff and cut him off from eating (part of his scholarship and aid) and then restrict him from even speaking to different programs about graduate studies citing said scholarship and aid.

    What Smart did with Turman I didn’t agree with but this is a completely different issue on a completely different level.

  11. Brandon

    I don’t get this. If Alabama has released him of his aid and banned him from facilities doesn’t that essentially mean he’s been booted from the team? And if he graduates on Saturday, then Sunday can’t he just give them the finger and sign athletic papers with UGA as a Graduate? If he is done at Bama, I don’t even see how this is a transfer issue and how anyone can block it.

  12. South FL Dawg

    The rules are unfair, but Saban won’t lose any sleep over it. I didn’t think Kirby should have blocked AJ Turman either. Adults doing this to young guys that only get 4 years to play is a travesty. You shouldn’t have to graduate to bond yourself out. You shouldn’t have to plead your case through the media.

    Why is Nick Saban an addiction for high schoolers and their families? They see how he controls everyone in his program yet they choose to put themselves in his hands.

    • Nacodog

      Because winning and money are an addiction too. When you’re 18 years old and two schools come to you and one has won as much as Alabama and has that much exposure to the NFL, and another school hasn’t won a nation title in 30 odd years, who are you going to pick?

  13. DankJankins

    Just out of curiosity…how many classes would he have to take to be eligible this fall to play and about how much money would that costs? I am wondering because if he paid his own way by taking out a student loan would he not be immediately eligible to play…SEC rule or not? Not that he wants to do that or should do that. I am just curious. It may be his only way he is really wants to be a UGA.

  14. So I have no problem with restricting transfers. Your signature on the dotted line needs to mean something and that something is a restriction on transfers if you change your mind at a later date. Decisions have consequences in the real world and just because these students are 18-19 shouldn’t be any different. They need to learn these kinds of things…

    But I do have a problem with a kid that has been denied the transfer and then treated like the red headed step child who can no longer participate in anything related to team activities. That isn’t right and if it’s true I expect the talking heads will have a lot to say the next couple of days.

    • hailtogeorgia

      Your signature on the dotted line needs to mean something

      …the same way it means something for coaches when they jump to a different school without issue?

      Decisions have consequences in the real world and just because these students are 18-19 shouldn’t be any different

      Except that they ARE being treated differently. Nick Saban and any coach on his staff could move to any school they wanted without anyone being able to block them – the players are the only ones who can’t. This kid will have graduated; he could leave the team now and take a job without any issue, but if he wants to go pursue another degree elsewhere in the SEC and play one more year of football, Nick Saban gets to decide if he’ll allow it. How does that make sense?

      • Before the dotted line is signed, the athlete knows the consequences. It’s not a surprise. It’s a known known…

        These kids aren’t blocked. They can move freely without a release. They just can’t take a scholarship for it if I am reading the rules correctly.

        A coach has a buyout. That IS the consequence…

        • They also can’t play if they haven’t been released. That’s the rub in this case. Smith has 1 year of eligibility remaining. I understood but didn’t agree with Kirby’s stance with Turman. In this case, it’s different. The guy has met his requirement in the classroom by getting his degree. Let him go where he wants. Life’s too short.

        • hailtogeorgia

          1) Buyouts typically get paid by the new school/team the coach is moving to, so they don’t really make a difference.

          2) They are blocked; they cannot play without a release, it’s not a scholarship issue.

          3) Sure, the athlete ‘knows the consequences’, but what are their options? Are you proposing that if they don’t like the rule that they forego signing a scholarship? It’s not like they can pursue football elsewhere…they can’t enter the NFL until 3 years out of graduation and the only real road to the NFL is college football, so…

      • PTC DAWG

        Coaches contracts usually have buyout clauses, etc..

        • hailtogeorgia

          A buyout still gives you the option to get out – there are just financial consequences. This is the equivalent an open-ended non-compete that you have no choice but to sign at 18 years old.

    • Jeff Sanchez

      You do know that schollys are year to year, right? Not for four

      And you do know Saban is notorious for “suggesting” kids move on or are “medically dq’d” when they don’t pan out/

      • David K

        And it’s way worse in basketball where in today’s world you can field a really good team of Freshmen. A new coach can show up and basically dismiss the entire existing team and bring in his new players. Calipari did it when he showed up at Kentucky.

        • That’s called being “all in” and if you’re opposed to it, you’re told you are settling for mediocrity.

          • Chi-town Dawg

            Bingo EE, you hit the nail on the head. All those people with the championship or bust mindset who cheered when we place restrictions on Turman shouldn’t complain one iota about this unless you’re a hypocrite. You can argue about one graduating, etc., but it’s splitting hairs and Saban is within the SEC rules with his position. We just don’t like the shoe being on the other foot.

            • Yep, my perspective is that the ability to place a restriction on where a STUDENT-athlete (that’s what the NCAA calls them) can go to get their education when their scholarship isn’t a full 5-year commitment is pretty ridiculous. For those who complete their academic commitment, there should be no restriction even possible on where that student-athlete goes to complete his/her studies and remaining athletic eligibility.

            • hailtogeorgia

              The fact that he graduated is a pretty big deal.

              • Chi-town Dawg

                Not according to the SEC. Graduates don’t have to sit out a year and they can transfer anywhere except to another SEC school, but the Head Coach can ultimately apply the same limitations on both. Again, I strongly disagree with the constraints, but the coaches can and do apply them.

                • Chi-town Dawg

                  To clarify, the can transfer to another SEC school, but only if the HC allows it. Otherwise, the SEC office has to overrule the HC on appeal a since SEC rules allow the HC to block other SEC graduate transfers, you’re unlikely to win the appeal.

                  • hailtogeorgia

                    That’s what I’m getting at though – the fact that he’s graduated changes the narrative considerably, even if the rules are structured the way they are. There was already not a lot to stand on as far as coaches and transfer rules, but having a graduate being impacted makes it look even worse.

  15. Jared S.

    I hate to sound like a goober (it’s who I am) but In a situation like this is it possible for a player to transfer to some non-SEC program and then right back to an SEC program of his choice? You pull an “okey-doke”, as my friend would say?

    What exactly is the SEC rule? That you can’t transfer directly to another SEC school without your current school’s permission? Or you can’t transfer at all within a calendar year? What exactly does it say?

    Anyway, regardless of the answer to my question, I think the parents will win out if they keep the drum beat of unfairness up.

    • ltrftc

      I’d imagine without graduating from the second program, no way to make the second transfer happen without sitting out. Not certain, but that feels like at least one wrinkle in that plan.

  16. Hogbody Spradlin

    Boy, Saban didn’t waste a minute freeing up that scholarship.

  17. Almightytmc1

    I think everyone is getting mad for nothing. Until he graduates Saturday, he IS NOT, nor does not qualify under the graduate transfer rule. Until then, he would be required to sit out for a year to establish residency. After Saturdays graduation he should receive his paperwork. And Georgia should get a pretty good nickel back.