New Georgia head coach Kirby Smart already kicked off his own era in Athens in that unlike his predecessor Mark Richt, he will not release players from their scholarships so that they may transfer wherever they please.
Smart’s stance on the matter was confirmed by AD Greg McGarity to Seth Emerson of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“Kirby brought me up to date on this when we were discussing our stance, and so that stance has been adjusted,” McGarity said. “We are not totally restricting transfer opportunities for our student-athletes. We will take each request on its own merit to determine if any restrictions should be placed on the release due to any extenuating circumstances. Student-athletes are afforded the opportunity to appeal the decision through the institution.”
Naturally, Dan Wolken of USA Today had something to say about the matter, which in this case concerns Smart’s refusal to let running back and Richt recruit A.J. Turman leave Georgia to transfer to Florida or even Miami, where Richt was hired as head coach after being let go by the Bulldogs.
Oddly enough, Turman did appeal to the NCAA and was told that he could indeed transfer to any school in Florida, except the two on his list. I’m sorry, but this is just getting ridiculous.
The facts are simple. Turman was recruited by Richt, a man who has had some fine running backs come through his program in Knowshon Moreno, Todd Gurley and others, so it’s only natural that he would want to go play for him. Granted, if Miami were in the SEC with Georgia like Florida is, the reasoning would be a bit more logical, but it isn’t.
Rather, this just looks like a pride issue on Georgia’s end and the fact that the NCAA sided with them is unsettling. Yet, Kirby Smart has his reasons for this stance and until he goes into further detail, all we can do is wait.
Stay tuned to Campus Sports for further updates on this story.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports