Former Alabama cornerback Maurice Smith‘s transfer saga is over, as he’ll be allowed to transfer to Georgia, the SEC announced Friday.
The SEC granted a conditional waiver for Smith to transfer to Georgia for the 2016 season after a battle with his former team that lasted nearly two months.
SEC bylaws typically require that a graduate transfer have two years of eligibility to transfer to an SEC school and also require a player transferring from one SEC school to another sit out a year. Neither will be the case for Smith, who has one year of eligibility remaining and will be allowed to join the Bulldogs immediately.
He had asked Alabama in June for permission to contact other schools with intentions to transfer.
Smith wanted to follow new Georgia head coach Kirby Smart, his former defensive coordinator at Alabama. When Smith originally met with Alabama coach Nick Saban in June regarding the matter, Saban told Smith that he would not release him to an SEC school, according to a letter Smith wrote to the Alabama appeals committee and obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Smith later claimed that his locker was cleared out, all his personal belongings were thrown in the trash, and he wasn’t allowed to enter the Tide’s football facilities.
Saban said on Aug. 4 that “we support the SEC rule of not granting guys’ releases to go to other SEC schools. It has been our policy here not to do that unless there was a special circumstance.”
On Wednesday, however, Saban changed that stance and granted Smith a full, unconditional release — leaving the decision in the hands of the SEC.
Smith recorded 15 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble and had one fumble recovery in 15 games as the nickelback for the Crimson Tide. He ended spring football in Alabama’s starting secondary rotation.