KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Offensive lineman Brandon Kennedy has spent the past three years at Alabama doing his best to block for coach Nick Saban’s teams while taking care of business in the classroom.
Now, however, it’s Saban who is throwing a block on Kennedy, according to a report from AL.com’s Matt Zenitz.
Alabama has denied Kennedy’s appeal to transfer within the SEC to Tennessee or Auburn without having to sit out a season, according to Zenitz.
AL.com cited sources as saying that Kennedy is blocked from having any contact with the Vols or the Tigers, along with any other SEC schools or future Alabama opponents.
Saban had indicated he was in favor of supporting a current SEC statute that requires a player to get a waiver to play right away should he transfer in the league.
“We have an SEC rule about do we want to have free agency within our conference, and I think there’s certain circumstances and situations where it may be better for the student-athlete,” Saban told AL.com last week. “And in those cases, I’d be supportive of guys doing it. I’ve done it in the past and I’ve not done it in the past.”
Kennedy, who graduated in December, would next need to go though a hearing with Alabama’s appeals board, per the AL.com report.
Tennessee and Auburn both recruited Kennedy out of his high school in Wetumpka, Ala.
Kennedy suffered a season-ending foot injury last season and was awarded a medical redshirt, according to AL.com, which stated he would have three years of eligibility remaining.
Kennedy announced that he’s leaving the Alabama football team on Twitter on Monday night, thanking “everyone at the University of Alabama including the professors, football staff and academic advisors.”
Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt, while not commenting directly on Kennedy or any other potential graduate transfer, has said he believes a player who has shown the maturity to graduate should have the freedom to pick their next school.
Pruitt pointed out that he, himself, transferred schools during his playing career.
“I actually started for [Middle Tennessee] two years and had a very good experience, loved the players I played with, loved the coaching staff that I played for and I was not disgruntled, I was happy,” Pruitt said last Thursday at the Big Orange Caravan stop in Nashville.
“But I wanted to go play at a school that I had always dreamed of playing at, and I was allowed to do that, they let me do it, I didn’t sit out, I went and played.”
That transfer led to Pruitt getting a graduate assistant coaching job at Alabama in 1997, launching his coaching career and putting him on a path that has led to him being hired as Tennessee’s coach.
Thank you for everything. pic.twitter.com/wnK03F2FB2
— Brandon Kennedy (@56nights_crazy) May 21, 2018
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