Tuesday afternoon, Matt Zenitz of AL.com reported that the University of Alabama is being uncooperative in CB Maurice Smith's "transfer attempt".
Sources: Alabama being uncooperative with Maurice Smith's transfer attempt https://t.co/CqyCW02nUM— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) July 12, 2016
This takes the whole situation of Smith transferring into a new direction. It was known that Alabama was not pleased with Smith's decision to transfer as he was slated to be the starting Nickel DB for the Tide this year. Smith was slated to be an integral part of the Alabama secondary, and losing him would hurt, but not be something from which Alabama couldn't be able to recover.
The report states that Smith has been "unsuccessful in obtaining a release despite several requests during the last month". With Smith slated to graduate in August, he would be immediately eligible to play at the school of his choosing in 2016. But, with Alabama refusing to grant the release, something I did not know was required for grad transfers, Smith is in a tough position.
We now have a fight between Smith, has made clear his intention to transfer (presumably to Miami by other previous reports) and Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban, arguably the most powerful sports figure in the world of College Football. With Saban at the head of the Alabama Football Program, I would find it hard to believe that he's not personally involved in this situation.
For Saban, keeping Smith and refusing his release request further cements his omnipotence over the Alabama program, even with a player who has satisfied the academic requirements to transfer without penalty. For Smith, he's fighting to transfer away from Alabama for whatever reason, but well within his rights.
As far as Miami is concerned, several reports have intimated that Smith transferring to Miami as a virtual certainty. That could not happen, of course, if Smith isn't granted a release by Alabama. So, this is something that matters to the Miami Hurricanes and the 2016 season.
The AL.com report, citing sources, states that Smith is going through an appeals process in the hopes of being granted his previous-requested release. There is no timeline for when that appeal process may yield a decision.
This is a decision that we have been monitoring for a while, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.