Nick Saban Says Keeping Players from Transferring Within SEC Isn't His Fault

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMay 30, 2018

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 9: Head Coach Nick Saban of the Alabama Crimson Tide answer questions from the media during the College Football Playoff Champions News Conference after winning the College Football Playoff National Championship Game at the Sheraton Hotel Grand Ballroom on January 9, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alabama defeated the Georgia Bulldogs 26 to 23. (Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images)
Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

Alabama head coach Nick Saban said Tuesday he doesn't believe he should be scrutinized for the way he's handled situations in which Crimson Tide players have requested waivers so they could transfer within the SEC.

"I don't think it should be on me," Saban told reporters at the SEC spring meetings Tuesday, according to ESPN.com's Alex Scarborough.

Saban stipulated he doesn't believe he's in the wrong because conference policy states players can only transfer to another SEC program if they receive a waiver. Without a waiver, players must forgo a year of eligibility before they can play again.

"If we agree in the SEC at these meetings that we're going to have free agency in our league and everybody can go where they want to go when they graduate and that's what's best for the game, then I think that's what we should do," he said.

Saban is dealing with a tricky transfer situation.

According to AL.com's Matt Zenitz, offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy sought a waiver so he could join Auburn or Tennessee as a graduate transfer.

However, Alabama denied his appeal. Said Saban, per Scarborough:

"Brandon Kennedy can go where he wants to go. But if we don't do that, why is it on me? Because we have a conference rule that says he can't do it. And he can do it but he's supposed to sit out for a year. So why is it on me? It's not even my decision.

"It's a conference rule. I always give people releases. And he has a release to go wherever he wants to go, but the conference rule says he can't go within the conference. So why is that on me? The Maurice Smith thing wasn't on me, either."

The Crimson Tide previously blocked a waiver request by defensive back Smith, who wanted to transfer to Georgia. The SEC later intervened and approved his move to the Bulldogs for the 2016 season.

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