And for that, I think everyone involved would give a big ol’ “amen.”
Friday, the SEC announced that it had granted a conditional waiver to Maurice Smith that will allow him to transfer from Alabama to Georgia and play immediately in 2016. The decision capped a tumultuous last few weeks, one in which ‘Bama steadfastly refused to grant the defensive back a release before finally relenting and leaving the decision in the hands of its conference.
The beneficiary of the conference’s decision, UGA head coach Kirby Smart, subsequently released a statement expressing thanks to the league for granting the waiver.
I want to express appreciation to Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey for granting the waiver which will allow Maurice Smith to pursue his dreams at the University of Georgia as a graduate transfer. This has been a difficult situation to navigate and we are grateful to all who have been involved in bringing it to a resolution. Now that it is behind us, we are all anxious to move forward.
Smart, of course, was the Crimson Tide’s defensive coordinator for the past eight seasons before moving back to his alma mater for his first head-coaching job, adding a juicy layer to the controversy. Smart knows Smith extremely well, then, and knows he will be getting a player who can help his secondary immediately.
A four-star 2013 recruit, Smith was rated as the No. 9 corner in the country and the No. 84 prospect overall. All told, Smith played in 41 games for the Tide. He started a pair of those contests.
Exiting the spring, Smith was viewed as the Tide’s starting nickel corner.