It appears the situation of defensive back Maurice Smith's potential transfer from Alabama is starting to escalate.
As reported earlier, Smith's mother told DawgNation that the Tide were blocking the hopeful graduate transfer from becoming a Georgia Bulldog. She described Alabama as making things difficult, even after she traveled from Houston to Tuscaloosa to try and help broker a potential solution.
Later on Wednesday, the AJC announced that it had obtained a letter from the defensive back, which stated that Alabama personnel has thrown his personal belongings in the trash after he conferred his intention to transfer to head coach Nick Saban on June 16.
From the AJC and DawgNation:
"On Friday, June 17, 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," Maurice Smith wrote. "These personal items included my family photos, written goals, inspirational and sentimental items memorializing my deceased former friend, roommate and teammate, Altee Tenpenny, and items of personal value from my former teammates."
Uhhh... that's not a good look, Alabama.
Despite being told by Saban that he wouldn't allow a transfer to another SEC school, Smith still requested an official release and transfer to Georgia. Smith also says he considered a transfer to Miami, but that he changed his mind after his release had been completely denied.
"I felt confused and unfairly treated and did not pursue the release to UM. Although things appeared hopeless, I communicated with my parents who told me to follow my heart and if UGA was where I felt I would have success, I should not back down and should pursue it."
Smith graduated from Alabama in just three years, and per NCAA rules, he would be eligible to play immediately if accepted to graduate school elsewhere. At this point, he is extremely frustrated, as this process has prevented him from applying to graduate school at Georgia and completely the necessary requirements needed to play this year.
"Please do not punish my success and instead reward the efforts of discipline, and determination that UA requires in all of their student-athletes to succeed," Smith wrote, before signing off.
It makes sense that Alabama might want to bar him from team activities after he wanted to transfer. It also makes sense that the head coach may not want one of his players to transfer to an in-conference rival. But throwing away his stuff before being afforded a chance to clean out his locker? This is definitely no way to treat a player that excelled and graduated in just three years.
Hopefully this situation gets resolved, and hopefully Smith doesn't continue to be unfairly punished because of it.
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