Alabama cornerback Maurice Smith claims that after he told head coach Nick Saban that he wanted to transfer from the school, he was shunned by the program and banned from the facilities.
Smith’s mother gave the Atlanta Journal-Constitution a copy of his July 1 letter to Alabama’s appeal committee. On June 16, the player said he told Saban that he wanted to transfer; Saban said no. The next day, he found his locker trashed:
“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,” Maurice Smith wrote. “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.”
Smith’s family provided copies of a text message, the sender of which was blacked out, the text of which said: “Bro I can’t have u at facility. Not for workout, lunch, anything. All in or out policy. Sorry bro.”
Alabama eventually permitted Smith to return to using its athletic facility, about two weeks ago, according to Samyra Smith.
Smith, who will graduate this week, played in eight games in the Crimson Tide’s 2015 season, including appearances in the Cotton Bowl and National Championship Game.
According to the letter, Smith wanted to transfer to Georgia, a program in Alabama’s conference. Saban wouldn’t allow it, but he would allegedly allow Smith to go to Miami. Smith said he had a “change of heart” and was intent on going to Georgia, his preferred choice.
As of now, Smith is still at Alabama. The program offered him grant-in-aid for the upcoming season, but he declined it. Smith is asking for an expedited review in hopes of joining the Bulldogs.