ATHENS — The Cade Mays’ NCAA appeals case is fascinating on several fronts, and it has certainly captivated the Georgia and Tennessee fan bases.
It’s not often a two-year starter in the prime of his career on the brink of multi-million dollar draft status asks to transfer out of a national championship contending program.
But that’s what happened with Mays, who is seeking immediate eligibility at a rival school in the SEC despite having his first appeal denied.
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The league has a policy where players who transfer within it must sit out a year, so Mays will need a waiver from both the NCAA and the SEC if he is to play this season.
There has been talk and proposed NCAA legislation allowing players a one-time transfer anywhere, but it has yet to be passed in its current form.
Some fans believe it needs to happen sooner than later and have taken out a petition asking Mays be made eligible immediately. More than 11,000 have already signed the petition, according to its website.
Still, many Vols’ fans are following the lead of their head coach, who says he writes letters of recommendation for immediate eligibility for very Tennessee player who wants to transfer out.
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If Georgia is so good, some of them say, why do they care if Mays gets to play this season? And, this is a season where eligibility doesn’t count for players anyway, so why not give all transfers immediate eligibility?
Georgia fans, meanwhile, resent Mays wanting to leave his teammates in a bind after Coach Kirby Smart invested so much time and program resources into developing him into an elite player.
So, not only do UGA fans feel Mays should be bound to the rules in place, but he should especially not be allowed to play for a rival school the Bulldogs play every season and recruit against regularly in Georgia.
Jeremy Pruitt suggested Mays was in a tough environment on account of his father, former Tennessee player Kevin Mays, filing a $3 million lawsuit after losing the tip of his right pinky finger in a folding chair accident.
The lawsuit was filed on Dec. 5, 2019 — Mays transferred out on Jan. 10, 2020.
Smart and his players say the Georgia team environment has never been better, as there is a leadership committee that ensures all player issues are brought to the forefront.