Kirby Smart is wrong … but then so is everybody else on transfers

Given that reaction over this new Kirby Smart transfer policy at Georgia isn’t going away — and even moved ESPN sports talk host Mike Greenberg to weigh in with a scolding of Smart: “Shame on you” (really?) — I figure it’s time to share my thoughts on the subject.

• The only reason I wasn’t aghast at Smart’s decision to put restrictions on running back A.J. Turman’s transfer was, frankly, the kid didn’t seem all that upset about it publicly. People have made a big deal about the fact Smart listed Miami among the schools Turman couldn’t transfer to, but Turman is on record as saying he was not going to go there anyway.

• I liked Mark Richt’s “life’s too short” policy. I also like Georgia’s tough anti-drug and alcohol policy that calls for mandatory suspensions. (Sophomore defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter was just suspended for one game for underage drinking and having a false identification.) But I also believe there needs to be a uniform policy regarding these transfer situations and a uniform drug and alcohol policy across the NCAA at the FBS level, or at the very least across the “Power 5” conferences.

• No, I don’t think Smart was justified in toughening Georgia’s transfer policy. But I would prefer that every other school lightens up theirs. If it were up to me, every time a coach leaves for another job, players would be free to transfer to the school of their choice. If a coach is fired or retires, I also would allow players to consider their options. The reality is that when most recruits sign their letter of intent, they’re doing so because of the head coach, not because of the university or the football program.

March 15, 2106 Athens, GA: Georgia's new head football coach Kirby Smart during the first day of spring practice Tuesday March 15, 2016. BRANT SANDERLIN/BSANDERLIN@AJC.COM

Georgia coach Kirby Smart is catching some heat for the football program’s new restrictive transfer policy. (Brant Sanderlin / bsanderlin@ajc.com)

• You might say of an open transfer policy, “That would bring chaos!” My response is, “What do we have now?” Coaches leave in the middle of contracts. Coaches run off players who didn’t meet their expectations from recruiting two years earlier. “Four-year” scholarships really are one-year, renewable contracts. Why should coaches, schools and conferences have all the power when most of the decisions that are being made is to benefit themselves, not the student-athlete? Allowing free movement of players won’t bring chaos because there’s already chaos.

• Nobody should have been surprised by Smart toughening the policy. He learned under Nick Saban. Are we to believe that if a running back who wasn’t getting enough carries in Saban’s offense at Alabama went to him and said, “Coach Saban, I would like to transfer to Auburn or LSU. Do I have your blessing?” that Saban would say yes? Really? (On a related note, an Alabama columnist took a shot at Smart in a column, but strangely I didn’t see Alabama’s policy addressed anywhere in there.)

• Smart is taking some heat and he should take some heat. So should athletic director Greg McGarity. He fully endorsed Richt’s no-transfer policy but now he suddenly backs Smart. So I guess we know who’s really in charge.

I suspect Smart is not going to back down from this until other SEC schools do the same. That may not happen any time soon.

Recent ramblings from the Digital Jukebox

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112 comments
TideDawg
TideDawg

Let's see what we have here Dawg fans: You liked the fact that Richt was a good Christian man.....GOOD! Nine or ten wins each season didn't make you happy...BAD! You didn't like the fact that 2 losses in big games every year kept the Dawgs out of every championship possibility......BAD! You wanted a new coach....GOOD! You got a new coach......GOOD! Uh-oh, you don't like the way new coach does things....BAD! New coach has no coaching experience.....BAD? New coach has ideas on how to win championships......GOOD! You don't like those new ideas.....BAD! New coach should do it the Georgia way......BAD! You want to fire new coach because it's not the Georgiaway....BAD! ................................................................................................................................................................................................Looks like the BAD outweighs the GOOD so I guess you will have to fire new coach. Players quit on their teams and leave for the NFL. Coaches quit on their teams to move to a big name coaching position. It's a business!


OH:IO
OH:IO

Give the guy a break. He's not even played a cupcake yet. 

TOJacket
TOJacket

@OH:IO Maybe he will have a winning record at Sanford against the CPJ..........Richt didn't?

Troy Williams
Troy Williams

So if a kid don't want to play for you,you punish him for his decision. So if you not happy on Master Smart's plantation, then you can't play football where you want,but where Master Smart says you can play

Joshua Albertson
Joshua Albertson

Punish? Just not letting him go to a sec school and Miami. I do believe there are other choices for the young man.

Chad Eaton
Chad Eaton

Rock on Smart! Sorry Schultz but I don't have a problem at all restricting where a kid can go. The school took them and invested in them. Shouldn't have to worry about ever competing against them.

MoistDawg
MoistDawg

if they want to transfer i dont care where they go were gonna beat them irregardless of where they transfer i hope they all go to tech so we can eventually have a descent team to play against if there all uga recruts.  lol!!!

The Doom
The Doom

"Are we to believe that if a running back who wasn’t getting enough carries in Saban’s offense at Alabama went to him and said, “Coach Saban, I would like to transfer to Auburn or LSU. Do I have your blessing?” that Saban would say yes? Really? " 


You don't do much research do you Jeff? Corey Grant, a former 4 star running back, transferred from Alabama to Auburn in 2011 and sat out 2012. And if memory serves correct he had several key carries in Auburn's 2013 kick six win. 


Saban also let former 4 star rb David Kamara transfer to our traditional 2nd biggest rival Tennessee. And Kamara is doing well at UT. 

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

@Doom Classical liberal Let me update you..


1-Grant wasn't given the OK to go to the barn by Nick thus his family had to pay his way that 1st year or YellaFella did.


2-Alvin Kamara transferred to Juco which takes Nick out of the process. Same as Tyrenne Jones. 

KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

And I want the rest of you cowboys to know something, there's a new sheriff in town. And his name is Reggie Hammond(Kirby). So y'all be cool. Right on.


KeepOnSmilingWetWillie
KeepOnSmilingWetWillie

Kirby can run make his decisions on how he wants to run HIS program.


As far as the beatwriter from Alabama ...Kevin Scarbinsky...the guy is pathetic at best. He is the spin master for the cow college.

WesS
WesS

Kirby does not have Mark's class.  "The Georgia Way" is no more!

GoodLife
GoodLife

@WesS I posted a similar comment about The Georgia Way previously.   It has more to do with ethics than performance on the field.   I seriously hope that Smart does not feel compelled to do what other teams are doing in order to win games i.e. Auburn, LSU, - like recruiting formerly dismissed players from other teams, lenient drug policies etc.   If so, we have merely sunk to their level.


IMO, Smart will have success simply because he will recruit better than Richt did in the state of GA.   Richt was a really good coach, but even Saban could not win the SEC given the talent disparities that UGA had when compared to LSU, Alabama, UF, etc.   Recruiting good players makes the coach.   That alone, I see UGA raising its game to the next level.   There is no need to abandon the tenants of The Georgia Way.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@WesS  Oh darn no more "Georgia Way."  No more getting our brains beat in on national television and sleep walking through the rest of our schedule.  No more Belk, Liberty, Taxslayer and Independence Bowls.  No more headscratching losses to vastly inferior opponents.  Mark Richt come back!!!  You're my hero!!!

TOJacket
TOJacket

@GoodLife @WesS What a load of crap!........The "Georgia way" must mean not winning a weak East?

dawg fan
dawg fan

@GoodLife You do realize that Kirby has already said the drug policy isn't going anywhere don't you?  If you're going to pop off at the mouth about ethics it would help to know your facts first.  You are a joke. 

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

@WesS  we didn't hire Kirby for his class...we hired him to get us over the hump...screw the Georgia way, give me championships

dawg fan
dawg fan

@TrueFan1 For the life of me I do not understand what is so ethical and classy about half azzing your job for 10 years while gladly accepting seven figure paychecks knowing full well you are not maximizing the potential of the program your are charged with leading.  That is actually very unethical. 

GoodLife
GoodLife

@dawg fan @TrueFan1 As a UGA alum, I have supported Dooley, Goff, Donan, Richt, and now Smart.   Your constant vitriol against RIcht is a utter embarrassment to the Bulldog nation.   How pathetic is it for a person to sit behind his keyboard and belittle a man who towers above anything you have ever done in terms of his resume, accomplishment, and character.

Mulk
Mulk

@GoodLife @WesS @ good life,


When he was here, we were led to believe that Richt was a great recruiter (see Dream Team). Now, that he is gone, there is a talent disparity?

GoodLife
GoodLife

@Mulk @GoodLife @WesS You are absolutely right - we were led to believe he was an excellent recruiter.   However, I think the eyeball test when playing teams like Alabama, UF, LSU speaks for itself.   Also, we must remember that there were a number of players of the so-called dream team that got dismissed, or were no longer with the team after a couple of years.   Kirby's first assessment about talent & depth is spot on.   There in, if Kirby can make improvements there, which I believe he will, UGA will once again be competitive in top eschelon of the SEC.

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

he gets paid an awful lot of money to be wrong jeffy .... He don't care what you think.... and never will....

Raymond101
Raymond101

Turman signed a scholarship with UGA which is binding. Do you know anywhere else that will let you out of a contract just because things didn't work out to your advantage? If coaches are made to let players sign with them and then go wherever they wanted then you would have people like Jim Harbaugh in the background trying to talk your players into transferring to his school.

TruthReallyHurts
TruthReallyHurts

So many flaws in your post.

First, the "contract" Turman signed is year-to-year, although some schools are now offering four-year scholarship agreements.

Next, coaches break contracts all the time in search of greener pastures.

Finally, there are NCAA rules with harsh penalties for those coaches who tamper with players on scholarship to other schools.

Just because this is common practice throughout college athletics does not make it right.

JFKDawg
JFKDawg

@TruthReallyHurts Coaches agreements let them seek other opportunities with financial buyouts. Players want to buy out their commitments?  I think not.  Players don't typically lose their scholarships for performing poorly.  Coach's lose their jobs even with winning records.


TruthReallyHurts
TruthReallyHurts

@JFKDawg Apples to lawn mowers. The coach does not buyout his contract, the other school does. And if you think players don't lose their scholarships based on poor performance you really don't belong on this forum because you have no idea what you're talking about.

My son is a high level SEC athlete and he KNOWS kids who were basically forced to leave due to poor performance. Nice try, but your new coach and others like him who use this restrictive policy are cowardly. Plain and simple.

OH:IO
OH:IO

Let me know when he beats a team from the SEC! SEC! West. 

OH:IO
OH:IO

@TOJacket @OH:IO


We all know Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Kentucky and Mizzou don't count. Hell, they ought to schedule Emory - the new Mizzou. 

DawginLex
DawginLex

@OH:IO  We own Auburn. What division of the SEC are they in? LULZ at OSU for losing to Michigan State. Double LULZ

TOJacket
TOJacket

@DawginLex @OH:IO It amazes me how you guys make light of a team that's won more games in 2 years than UGA has ever won in 2 seasons...........lol

DawgNole
DawgNole

@TOJacket 

Wonder if it's because of OSU's obnoxious, hypocritical fan who spends almost as much time blasting UGA on these blogs as you do?

Whaddaya think?

DUH!

dawg fan
dawg fan

I see the few remaining Richt followers are looking for some type of vindication for their outrage over the firing of their hero.  I guess this is it.  Lord knows when the games start and we finally see a tough well disciplined UGA football team giving maximum effort on every single play that it won't be happening on the field.  Gotta hang your hats on something I guess. 

DawginLex
DawginLex

@dawg fan  You seriously need to stop. Richt is gone to Miami and no one on here is begging for him to come back. Kirby used leverage to try and get AJ to give the new staff a chance. AJ dug in and wanted to transfer. Kirby is now adopting a policy that mirrors other schools. Greenberg and Schultz are idiots if they can't see it. If Richt was still around, JJ Greene would have offered a nice set of inside info to CPJ about our schemes. Kirby's policy will make sure that can't happen

dawg fan
dawg fan

@DawginLex You seriously need to wake up.  They may not be begging for him to come back but his fan club will do everything in their power to convince everyone we've made a huge mistake.  I know for a fact that these people exist.  They're posting on this very blog.  Most of them are laying low now but as soon as Kirby drops a game they'll come out of the woodwork to let us  know about it.  They'll be as happy with Georgia's loss as the opposing team will be.  They are total frauds and phonies.  I've spent years listening to them tell me I'm not a "real fan" because I don't worship Richt like they do.  Time to take their own medicine. 

Buzzdawgs
Buzzdawgs

Please clarify......

If a player is not granted release, does this mean he gets to keep his scholarship and stay, albeit not play much or at all? How does this mesh with "one year at a time" scholarships? Please tell me he cannot lose scholarship but still not transfer and play.

If not released, what rights does player have to transfer and receive a scholarship? What waiting period, if any, to play at new school?

WhatExcuseNow
WhatExcuseNow

Schultz is being disingenuous once again using Alabama transfer to LSU or Auburn analogy compared to UGA to Miami.  They are in the same division and conference.  So no Coach Saban would not allow that transfer most likely.  But he will and has allowed plenty of players to transfer elsewhere without much quarum.  Coach Smart is being petty not allowing players to transfer out of conference to a team UGA doesn't have on its schedule in the near future.  Kirby and Nick aren't alike, but Schultz needs the hits so he makes false comparisons in hopes of drumming up support.  YOU ARE GOD AWFUL AS A SPORTS WRITER JEFF.  Just one reason I rarely peruse the sports section or AJC anymore for that matter.  Keep up the terrible work.  You seem to have never stopped....


dawg fan
dawg fan

@WhatExcuseNow  You are the one being disingenuous.  Kirby is in an unusual situation where the coach he replaced is now coaching at another Power 5 school in a neighboring state.  You're a liar if you don't think any other coach in his shoes wouldn't do to same thing restricting transfers to said coach.  A flat out liar.  No more no less.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@tdhbntsjoke Do you need a Kleenex you big effing crybaby?  There wasn't a shred of actual substance in your entire post. LOL @ you. 

tdhbntsjoke
tdhbntsjoke

@dawg fan

^^^^This  I D I O T is the other reason.  He knows less than diddly squat about sports  and specifically football, but he sure wants us to think he knows what he talks of.  His only defense is calling someone a liar when he can't opine a genuine, articulate response. Trade this M O R O N for Dawg350, MoistDawg, or a stick of chewed gum and let the real sports talk begin.  He brings nothing to this conversation and therefore, is                         I R R E L E V A N T  to any sports related conversation.  Move along T O O L.  I'll make you and your Momma cry.......

blitz94
blitz94

Whenever any student-athlete is recruited the first thing that they are told is that they are being recruited for and will be playing for the the University of "X" not for the coach and that coaching changes happen and happen often.  


mgunter
mgunter

Comical, Schultz critical of new coach when he and Bradley led the bandwagon to run off old coach. Georgia fans argueing about the transfer of a kid who couldn't get playing time. New Saint Smart confused over if the kid appealed. Another. Ga athlete is arrested for doing something stupid. Bahaha ha some things never change.

dawg fan
dawg fan

@mgunter  The bandwagon was led by fans like me who follow a football program and not a head coach.  Phonies like you can follow your hero to Miami if this is such a problem for you.  Mark Richt was a choke artist and his Mr. Nice Guy act grew tiresome.  THAT is why he is gone.  Schultz and Bradley had nothing to do with it. 

TrueFan1
TrueFan1

@dawg fan @mgunter  : Schultz and Bradley are just low level , disgruntled, non-paying writers who hate the rich man getting richer..