The mother of Alabama reserve defensive back Maurice Smith told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that her son is being blocked from transferring to Georgia by coach Nick Saban.
Smith, a senior from Sugar Land, Texas, is still listed on Alabama’s roster online. With two career starts under his belt, he worked with the first-team defense during the spring.
In mid-June, AL.com reported that Smith was seeking to leave as a graduate transfer, which would make him immediately eligible to play.
“He wants to go to Georgia. Period,” Samyra Smith told the AJC. “That’s where he wants to go.”
She added: “The university is continuing to be resistant to any request to release my son. That’s where we are. In [Saban’s] mind, the best decision is for him to stay here. And he doesn’t think anything other than that is best for the kid.”
At media days, Saban said he and the staff had told Smith that he would be a significant contributor this season if he stayed. Alabama opens camp Wednesday.
“We have told him, ‘Because we support the SEC rule, it would not be in your best interest to have to sit out. If you want to go some place else [outside the SEC], we’d be glad to help you do that,'” Saban said.
After last season ended, Alabama did not block the transfer of wideout Chris Black to Missouri, an SEC school.
Samyra Smith asked the AJC, “So what is it? Is it really about my son, or is it about Kirby Smart and Nick Saban?”
Smart, who is in his first year as head coach at Georgia, served as Saban’s defensive coordinator at Alabama from 2008-15.
“I don’t know what it is,” she said. “You just had a player leave, Chris Black, and he’s at an SEC school, Mizzou. So don’t tell me it’s about a violation of rules. I can read you the rules. I understand them well. It’s not a violation of rules, or else the SEC would’ve stopped it, the commissioner would’ve stopped it. But it’s allowed.”