Alabama has granted a full release to senior defensive back Maurice Smith, the Tuscaloosa News reported Wednesday.
Smith will now be able to transfer to an SEC school, pending approval of a waiver by the league office. Alabama, who had been blocking a move to another SEC school, announced last week in a statement that it would help him transfer to a “non-SEC school.”
Though he did not mention a full release, Alabama coach Nick Saban discussed Smith’s situation in the opening statement of his press conference Wednesday.
“We have done everything that we can do institutionally to allow the conference to make the decision about whatever they decide is in the best interest of the conference and the SEC rules relative to Maurice Smith,” Saban said. “So that is past us now. It is beyond us. We don’t really need to talk about that anymore and I don’t have any other comments to make about it.
“We’re trying to focus on the guys we have here and what we need to do to help those guys have a chance to be successful.”
Smith has been seeking a transfer to SEC school Georgia, a move Alabama has blocked since he put in the request in June. Alabama had cited SEC rules in its previous stance on the situation.
Smith, who graduated from Alabama last Saturday, has one year of eligibility remaining. NCAA rules allow graduate students to transfer without sitting out a season.
Georgia is coached by first-year coach Kirby Smart, who previously was Alabama’s longtime defensive coordinator before leaving for the Bulldogs this offseason.
Smith was expected to start at Alabama’s “Star,” or nickelback, this season after working at the position with the first-team defense this spring.
Last season, Smith had 15 tackles, one sack, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and one pass breakup in 15 games played.
(You can follow Kevin Connell on Twitter @_KevinConnell)
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