Georgia sophomore Cade Mays' attorney says the offensive lineman plans to transfer and will have a strong case to be granted immediate eligibility in 2020.
Tom Mars, whose sports law practice has offices in Atlanta and Rogers, Arkansas, accused Georgia of leaking news that Mays' parents, Kevin and Melinda Mays, filed a lawsuit against the University of Georgia in December. The lawsuit was filed in the State Court of Clarke County about two years after an incident in which Kevin Mays lost part of his little finger after it was caught in a folding chair at a dinner for recruits at Sanford Stadium.
Kevin Mays was a team captain at Tennessee and an All-Southeastern Conference guard in 1994.
“The Mays family has never said a word to anyone about Kevin Mays’ lawsuit,” Mars said in an e-mail to The Associated Press on Thursday. “The timing of the news stories about Mr. Mays’ lawsuit makes clear that UGA leaked this story to sports writers today after Cade delivered a letter to (coach) Kirby Smart late yesterday explaining the reason he’s leaving Kirby’s program.”
Added Mars: “I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that UGA is continuing to take the low road about the lawsuit, but directing sports writers to Mr. Mays’ lawsuit set a new record low for UGA athletics.”
Spokesman Claude Felton released a statement Thursday from the Georgia athletic association, which denied leaking news of the lawsuit.
“Unlike Mr. Mars, we will not engage in a public discussion of a student eligibility matter, other than to wish the best for Cade and his family," the statement said. "Although the Mays lawsuit is a public document available on the internet, no one at UGA was authorized to discuss it, we’re not aware of anyone who did so, and the reporter who broke the story of the lawsuit has stated that he was not notified by anyone at UGA.”
The lawsuit was first reported by UGAsports.com. The website's reporter, Anthony Dasher, told The Associated Press he was not informed of the lawsuit by anyone from Georgia.
Georgia has had three offensive linemen — left tackle Andrew Thomas, right tackle Isaiah Wilson and guard Solomon Kindley — announce they will leave school early and enter the NFL draft. Mays' exit is another blow to the position's outlook for 2020.
With Thomas sitting out, Mays (6-6, 318) started at left tackle in Georgia's Sugar Bowl victory over Baylor. Mays played in all 14 games, starting 11, for Georgia (12-2) and would have been a key to the line next season. He also started at both guard positions and right tackle and has played at center.
Mars said Mays' case is unique.
“Of all the waiver cases I’ve been involved in, I’ve never seen anything quite like this one,” Mars said. “And for the sake of everyone who loves college football, I hope I don’t ever see another one.”
Mars did not provide details of Mays' reasons for seeking the transfer. Mars would not confirm if Mays, who is from Knoxville, Tennessee, plans to return to his hometown and continue his career at Tennessee.
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