Smith seeks release to join Georgia Bulldogs

Ben Boynton

The ongoing saga of former Alabama defensive back Maurice Smith and his attempts to transfer from the program have taken another turn, as Smith told Seth Emerson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he has felt “ostracized” by the team and the University as he attempts to transfer to the University of Georgia.

In a letter written to Alabama’s appeals committee that was shared by Emerson, Smith wrote, “I arrived at the athletic facility locker room to find my locker cleaned out and all of my personal belongings in the trash (photo attached) underneath trash.” 

He mentioned family photos, handwritten goals, and personal items including some set aside for the purpose of remembering his late former teammate Altee Tenpeneny as among the items that had been in his locker.

Originally, he was considering the University of Baylor, but after the sexual assault scandal facing the University became public he turned to Georgia, where former Crimson Tide defensive coordinator Kirby Smart is now the head coach. In addition, former defensive backs coach Mel Tucker is the new defensive coordinator.

Alabama coach Nick Saban reportedly told Smith that he wouldn’t let him transfer to Georgia or any other SEC schools as a graduate transfer, citing an SEC rule that requires players to sit out one year if transferring to another SEC school. As a graduate transfer, the senior would be eligible to play immediately.

Former Alabama wide receiver Chris Black announced in February that he would be transferring to Missouri, which is also in the SEC. He will be able to play this season as a graduate transfer, and has received praise from Missouri’s coaching staff and his new teammates an important contributor on the offensive side of the ball.

Smith has asked that his appeal be expedited so he can have time to apply to Georgia’s graduate school and meet NCAA eligibility requirements.