TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama opened preseason camp facing backlash over a decision to prevent recent graduate defensive back Maurice Smith from transferring to another SEC school — in this case Georgia, coached by former Tide assistant Kirby Smart.
"I know there's a lot of talk out there and interest in the Maurice Smith deal. We support the SEC rule of not granting guys' releases to go to other SEC schools," coach Nick Saban said. "It has been our policy here not to do that unless there was a special circumstance."
According to his mother, Samyra Smith, Saban and Alabama are "intentionally" making the process difficult on her son.
In a transfer appeal filing obtained by the Atlanta Journal Constitution, Smith described a hostile situation after he sought the transfer: "I arrived at the athletic facility locker room to find my locker cleaned out and all of my personal belongings in the trash underneath trash. 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."
A school statement said Alabama officials "remain happy to assist Maurice to enable a transfer to any non-SEC school, and have been doing everything requested regarding that throughout this process."
CAL: Davis Webb, who joined Cal this spring as a graduate transfer from Texas Tech, was named starting quarterback.
MISSOURI: Defensive linemen Walter Brady and Harold Brantley were dismissed from the team. Brady, a freshman standout last season, violated undisclosed team policies. Brantley, a senior, missed all of last season after suffering multiple injuries in an auto accident but had been expected to return.
UTAH: Receiver Cory Butler-Byrd was indefinitely suspended for what coach Kyle Whittingham called personal issues.