Applying what he called “pretty standard industry-wide practice,” Georgia Tech athletic director Mike Bobinski upheld the school’s restriction to not let Georgia contact basketball player Robert Carter, who is transferring from the Yellow Jackets team after two seasons.
“Our practice has typically been to (not grant permission) to the ACC schools and anybody you play in a given sport every year,” he said. “We play Georgia every year. This is not something which is so much a Georgia thing as it is we compete against them every year. That’s a pretty standard industry-wide practice.”
In his transfer, Carter was restricted from transferring either to Georgia or another ACC school. Given that he would have to sit out two years if he were to transfer to another ACC team, it’s essentially a restriction against Georgia.
Still, Bobinski said, the policy is not airtight. If an athlete were transferring due to a coaching change or if there were extenuating circumstances such as a family situation, the school would be willing to adjust the restriction list. However, “none of that applies in this case,” Bobinski said.
That is why he didn’t see Georgia’s 2009 release of Daniel Miller from his letter of intent in order to play at Tech as comparable. Miller left Georgia due to a coaching change, Dennis Felton’s firing, and had yet to play.
“It’s a completely different deal,” Bobinski said. “Robert’s been a big part of our program for two years.”
Further, it is an appealable situation if Carter were interested in transferring either to Georgia or another ACC school.
“If Robert had an issue with it, he could come to us,” Bobinski said. “We’ve not heard from Robert.”
Georgia’s policy is to not place restrictions on athletes seeking to transfer.
“The University of Georgia doesn’t restrict a student-athlete from any school that is seeking a transfer,” athletic director Greg McGarity said. “The student-athlete’s best interest is at the forefront of our program. If they’re not happy here we’re not going to dictate where they can and can’t go.”
Bobinski had no issue with the request or his conversation with McGarity. He called McGarity a professional for whom he has a lot of respect.
“In this case, we’re going to disagree on how things are handled,” he said. “That’s fine. Sometimes that happens.”
For the Georgia perspective, read Chip Towers’ post on the Georgia blog.