There’s a little ACC-SEC stare down that is generating some national interest.
Maryland granted the release of three football players, including former Norcross offensive tackle Max Garcia, who generated immediate interest from UGA, Florida and Auburn, among others. (You can read more about that here)
Maryland granted the releases with the stipulation that the three players couldn’t transfer to another ACC school or one of the Maryland’s future non-conference opponents, such as West Virginia and Tulane. That’s a common stipulation. After all, you don’t want your former players coming back to beat your brains out and put your job in jeopardy, right?
Here’s where the Maryland situation takes a strange twist: According to The Washington Post, there’s also a stipulation preventing the three players transferring to … Vanderbilt. Vanderbilt? Yes, Vanderbilt, which is not in the ACC and not on Maryland’s schedule. Now that’s an uncommon stipulation in a transfer situation.
Since Maryland coach Randy Edsall has not revealed his reasons for the Vanderbilt ban, it has ignited an avalanche of JFK conspiracy theories across the Internet.
There are rumors of “bad blood” between Edsall and James Franklin, who was Maryland’s offensive coordinator before being hired as Vanderbilt’s head coach. Also, The Washington Post noted that the unique stipulation “raises the question” on whether some tampering may have occurred between the Maryland players and Vanderbilt before the releases were granted. Meanwhile, the Sporting News’ Matt Hayes speculates that Edsall may have done it out of “spite” – while pointing out that coaches can transfer freely among schools without NCAA penalties while players cannot.
For more details on the Maryland-Vanderdilt showdown, click on this link to our friends at MrSEC.com.
Here’s the local angle to all of this: Edsall may or may not have one of college football’s most restrictive transfer policies (it remains to be seen how this will all play out), and Tennessee’s Derek Dooley recently avoided a PR disaster on another transfer issue.
However, UGA’s Mark Richt is certain to have the most liberal transfer policy in college football. In his 11 years as coach of the Bulldogs, Richt has never put any stipulation when granting a player release.
That means his former players could’ve gone to rivals Georgia Tech, Auburn, Florida, wherever. Some have come back and played against the Bulldogs, including Philadelphia Eagles LB Jamar Chaney (Mississippi State) and Michael Grant (Arkansas).
Why? Why does Richt have such a generous and carefree (but potentially harmful) policy?
“I think life is too short,” he told the AJC on Tuesday.
“I think if a kid doesn’t want to be in your program, then I really don’t want him in the program. If he wants to go somewhere else where he thinks is in his best interests and his family thinks is in his best interests, I’m fine with that.
“I’m not going to say that there will never be a situation where I wouldn’t want to put some type of condition on a release. But in the last 11 years I haven’t found one yet where I felt I should.”
What do you think about Richt’s transfer policy? Is it too liberal? If you were UGA’s coach, would you at least put a ban on transferring to another SEC school? (I probably would)
Or are you 100-percent behind Richt’s policy? And what type of effect do you think it has on recruiting? If you had a son that signed to play for his favorite school and it didn’t work out for one reason or another, would you want to be discussing a transfer with Richt or a coach who is the polar opposite?
As always, we look forward to reading your comments. Some of the reader opinions posted on here over the last couple of weeks have been nothing short of amazing.
IT’S RAINING RECRUITING STORIES
INSTANT AJC RECRUITING CLASSICS
– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog
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