SportsProf

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Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Kirby Smart is in Charge of the Last Working Plantation in Georgia

Huh?

Got your attention, at least.  Basically, the newly minted Bulldog football coach has announced that he will approve where players can transfer too and reserves the right to veto their choice.  That's much different from the policy of his predecessor, Mark Richt, who took the position that if a player wanted to transfer, he could go anywhere he wanted, because "life is too short."  Funny, because coaches can move anywhere they want without penalty.  Richt tried to follow that premise; sadly, Smart chooses not to.

Which means, if you're a recruit, that once you sign with Georgia you are putting your total future into Kirby Smart's plans.  If you're the third-string QB and want to transfer to another SEC school to compete for the starting job, he might well say no.  If you want to follow Coach Richt because you were close with him, he will say no.  Which is funny, because assistant coaches follow head coaches all the time.  People in the private sector follow bosses when they switch jobs.  But in this case, Smart is not only the boss, he's the overseer and plantation owner.  When you sign a letter of intent with the Bulldogs, you are agreeing in essence to permit Smart to have a say as to where you transfer if it doesn't work out in Athens.

Smart earned a good reputation as a defensive coordinator at Alabama, thus making him very attractive to Georgia.  Ironically, if he were under contract at Alabama and his boss, Nick Saban, took a similar point of view, Smart might be coaching anywhere but the SEC.  Instead, he moves, without penalty, to Georgia.  So why does it make sense that, consistent with the SEC transfer rules, that a player may not do the same thing?  And don't argue that he can so long as he clears it with the head coach.  That doesn't make sense.  He simply should get his release, transfer to a school that's good for him and sit out a year (if it's a DI school).  End of story.

Instead, welcome to Smart's world.  Sign your letter of intent and take your chances.

If you do, you might be doing the Smart thing, but you won't be doing a smart thing.

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