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SEC Grants Waiver for Maurice Smith to Play at Georgia

Former Alabama player will be reunited with Kirby Smart.

All State Sugar Bowl - Alabama v Ohio State Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Following a long and drawn out process, Maurice Smith is eligible to play for the Georgia Bulldogs.

The SEC has granted him a waiver allowing Smith to play immediately. Smith and his family had publicly complained about his treatment from Nick Saban and Alabama upon seeking a transfer in June.

"Graduate transfer rules were established with the intent to be grounded in the academic interests of the student-athlete," said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey in a press release. "This conditional waiver permits Maurice Smith to receive financial aid to pursue his stated academic goals at the school of his choice while connecting his athletic participation directly to those goals."

Sankey added that Smith graduating in three years and showing a “strong commitment to his academic future” was compelling motivation to help him achieve his goals on and off the field.

The waiver ends an ugly saga that drew national attention. Alabama staff apparently banned Smith from the team facilities and threw all of his belongings in a trash can. Saban also tried to prevent Smith from transferring to Georgia, even though he already graduated from Alabama.

All of that is now in the past, and Georgia has added a strong player to its defense for 2016.