Former Georgia Bulldogs Cade Mays and Otis Reese might get a chance to see the field this season after all. SEC commissioner Georgia Sankey issued a statement in where he granted a number of blanket transfer waivers to be eligble to play this season. The SEC has a rule where if players transfer within the conference, such as Mays going from Georgia to Tennessee, the player must sit out a year.
Sankey pointed to the unprecedented times that come with COVID-19 as to why he came to the decision he did.
“It must be stated unequivocally that these approvals are solely a reflection of the unique circumstances present and should not be interpreted as an endorsement of the rationale set forth by individuals seeking these waivers,” Sankey said in a statement.
“These are unprecedented times in which decisions about eligibility and competitive opportunities demand consideration of the current challenges facing or student-athletes and schools as a result of COVID-19.
Georgia athletic director Greg McGarity echoed Sankey’s comments with regards to the blanket approval of the waivers in these unique times.
“It is important to recognize that these approvals are not an endorsement of the rationale set forth by the individuals seeking waivers,” McGarity told DawgNation. “Commissioner (Sankey) plainly indicated that he approved all waivers due to the unprecedented circumstances we face.
We look forward to reviewing our current bylaws to attend to the changing national landscape while protecting the shared ideals that make this conference so special.”
Tennessee has already confirmed that Mays will be eligible to play this season. The Bulldogs and Volunteers are set to play in Sanford Stadium on Oct. 10. Georgia offensive lineman Justin Shaffer was asked about Mays on Wednesday evening.
“Cade is still one of my dogs,” Shaffer said. “With that situation I feel like it’s something he had to handle.”
Ole Miss has not said official anything as of this writing regarding Reese’s eligibility. Last week the former Georgia safety detailed his time at Georgia in which he stated that he felt manipulated by coach Kirby Smart.
It is important to note that Reese has not yet been cleared by the NCAA, whereas Mays has been.
Another name impacted by the news is former Auburn quarterback Joey Gatewood, as he transferred to Kentucky. Gatewood’s new head coach Mark Stoops celebrated the news of the granting of the waiver.
We’re excited that @joey1gatewood has received waivers from the @NCAA and @SEC and will be eligible to play this season. We’re thankful that the SEC Presidents and Commissioner @GregSankey took into account the unique circumstances around this season.
— Mark Stoops (@UKCoachStoops) September 30, 2020
Auburn played Kentucky last week with the Tigers winning 29-13 over the Wildcats. Georgia will play Kentucky on Oct. 24.
Georgia takes on Auburn this weekend in a game scheduled for a 7:30 p.m. ET kickoff on the SEC Network.