The Tennessee Vols didn’t beat Georgia on the field in 2019, but they’ve already secured an off-the-field victory against the Bulldogs in 2020.
Not only did the Vols swipe Cade Mays, one of Georgia’s best players, from the Bulldogs, they also put a dent in Kirby Smart’s armor.
According to a report from VolQuest’s Austin Price, Mays didn’t want to be put in the transfer portal on Wednesday. He wanted to arrive in Knoxville under-the-radar and just start classes. Mays, essentially, wasn’t looking for attention. Georgia, however, decided to put Mays in the portal — which alerted reporters to Mays’ impending transfer.
Note: After further research, it appears that Georgia might have been required by NCAA rules to put Mays in the portal.
But it might not be the worst part of the story.
Shortly after news broke that Mays was heading Tennessee, a report surfaced about a lawsuit that the Mays family is filing against Georgia.
The Knoxville News Sentinel spoke with Tom Mars, the attorney who is representing Mays in his pursuit of a waiver to play immediately in 2020.
Mars speculated that Georgia leaked the story about the lawsuit after Mays informed Smart that he was transferring. The Knoxville News Sentinel quoted Mars as saying “one sports writer I spoke with earlier today confirmed that’s how he found out about the lawsuit”.
While no one is saying on the record that Smart leaked the story, it certainly appears that’s where the smoke is coming from.
This is an absolutely terrible look for Smart. The way he’s handled the Mays situation is something that could haunt him in recruiting.
And anything that hurts Georgia in recruiting is a win for Tennessee.
Georgia released a statement on Thursday denying they were involved in leaking the story about the lawsuit.
UGA has now issued this statement regarding the lawsuit brought by the Mays family, and in response to its lawyer Tom Mars: pic.twitter.com/7bjsDgZoj6
— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) January 9, 2020
There’s nothing quite like SEC football.
Featured image via Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports