On Tuesday night, former Georgia safety Otis Reese detailed his time with the Bulldogs and made a number of allegations involving racism, police harassment and manipulation by Georgia head coach Kirby Smart during his time with the football program.
Wednesday morning, the University of Georgia Athletic Association put out a statement on the matter of Reese’s comments.
“We cannot comment on student-athlete eligibility matters due to federal privacy laws, but we would be happy to share our full response to Otis Reese’s waiver request, if he provides a signed release allowing us to do so,” The statement said. “UGA disputes any suggestion that it maintains an unsafe, unsupportive, or racially insensitive environment.”
Reese put out a letter via his Twitter account on Tuesday night describing his time in detail at Georgia.
“The reason I chose to transfer is because my 1 1/2 years at UGA took a devastating mental toll on me,” Reese said. “From my first moments I stepped on campus, it was not what I expected , The Racist events that I kept experiencing weighed on me heavily and seemed never ending.”
The former Georgia safety added that he initially wanted to transfer out of Georgia during the 2019 season but that Smart had convinced Reese to continue playing.
Following Reese’s statement, multiple Georgia players shared the letter through their Twitter account in support. Senior linebacker Monty Rice, senior wide receiver Demetris Robertson and redshirt sophomore Kearis Jackson were among those that voiced their support of Reese being eligible this season.
— Monty Rice (@RiceMonty) September 23, 2020
Let my boy play! https://t.co/kj4NqpIJNh
— Demetris Robertson (@d_rob4) September 23, 2020
I remember that night …… smh https://t.co/H9pf9sqDs8
— Kearis Jackson (@king_kearis) September 23, 2020
Reese transferred to Ole Miss in January, where he will be coached by Lane Kiffin. Reese is not the only former Georgia awaiting to hear on his waiver process, as Cade Mays is in a similar situation as well. Mays has actually gotten a waiver from the NCAA but still needs one from the SEC to play this season, as he transferred within the conference.
Smart was asked about Mays and some of his comments on Tuesday night and said something similar to the statement Georgia put out Wednesday.
“Unfortunately, I’m not able to respond to that. In due time, it’ll play itself out, but it’s not something I’m allowed to comment on,” Smart said.
Ole Miss opens the season on Saturday against Floria. Georgia starts the season with a visit to Arkansas. The Bulldogs and Rebels do not play this season.
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