Alabama defensive back Maurice Smith stated in a letter to the school’s appeal committee in July that he felt “ostracized” after informing the program of his plans to seek a graduate transfer.
Seth Emerson of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution received a copy of the letter from the cornerback’s mother, Samyra Smith, on Wednesday. Smith stated he communicated his decision to head coach Nick Saban on June 16 and was told he couldn’t go to another SEC school. The letter explained what he witnessed upon showing up at the facilities the next day:
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. 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.
In regard to her son’s decision, Samyra Smith previously told Emerson: “He wants to go to Georgia. Period. That’s where he wants to go.”
The letter noted Saban called Smith’s mother on June 27 to inform her a transfer to Georgia would not be allowed. He also stated the “SEC commissioner agreed with him.”
Smith, who’s set to graduate from Alabama on Saturday and wants to gain immediate eligibility after a transfer, concluded the letter by saying: “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.”
Alabama declined to comment on the statements made in the letter to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Alex Scarborough of ESPN.com noted Saban was asked about Smith’s situation at the SEC media days in July. He confirmed the Crimson Tide would help facilitate a move outside the conference.
“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 someplace else [outside the SEC], we’d be glad to help you do that,'” Saban said.
Smith has played a limited role across his first three seasons at Alabama, registering just 38 total tackles and five passes defended in 22 games.
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Source: Bleacher Report -SEC Football