On Wednesday, it was reported that Georgia offensive lineman Cade Mays intended to transfer from the Bulldogs to Tennessee. The biggest question surrounding the transfer was whether or not Mays would be able to gain immediate eligibility for the 2020 season.
Mays’ lawyer is confident that will happen.
Tom Mars, who gained fame when he represented Georgia quarterback transfer Justin Fields in his battle to gain immediate eligibility when he transferred to Ohio State, is representing Mays. Mars also represented Shea Patterson, a quarterback who transferred from Ole Miss to Michigan.
Both Fields and Patterson were granted immediate eligibility. Mars thinks Mays will, too.
“I can go on the record saying that I’m Cade’s lawyer and that, based on my investigation of the facts and circumstances, I’m confident Cade won’t have to sit out a year after he transfers,” Mars told the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
Shortly after it was reported that Mays would be transferring and that the likely destination was Tennessee, another report came out originally from Radi Nabulsi of UGASports.com that the Mays family is suing UGA and a chair manufacturing company after Kevin Mays, Cade’s father and a former Tennessee lineman, had his pinky finger amputated following an incident with a folding chair at an UGA athletic event when Cade was on a visit to UGA back in late 2017.
According to Mars, that info was leaked to the media by UGA.
“The Mays family has never said a word to anyone about Kevin Mays’ lawsuit,” Mars wrote to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “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 Kirby Smart late (Tuesday) explaining the reason he’s leaving Kirby’s program.
“In fact, one sports writer I spoke with earlier today confirmed that’s how he found out about the lawsuit. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that UGA is continuing to take the low road about the lawsuit, but in my opinion, directing sports writers to Mr. Mays’ lawsuit set a new record low for UGA Athletics.”
On Thursday afternoon, the University of Georgia responded to Mars’ comments, claiming that they did not leak any information.
“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,” UGA said in a release. “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 report who broke the story of the lawsuit has stated that he was not notified by anyone at UGA.”
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
Mars’ response? A couple emojis.
Tom Mars issues this response to the UGA statement: pic.twitter.com/I6CftEkae0
— Seth Emerson (@SethWEmerson) January 9, 2020
Mars currently works for the NCAA and is under contract with them as part of the NCAA Enforcement team as it pertains to infractions of NCAA rules. Mars states that representing athletes such as Mays in eligibility matters does not conflict with his work at the NCAA in infractions cases.
The acclaimed lawyer has represented several student-athletes looking to gain immediate eligibility since the NCAA changed their transfer rules. As mentioned previously, Ohio State’s Justin Fields and Michigan’s Shea Patterson were represented by Mars, and they were awarded immediate eligibility. Tight end Luke Ford was represented by Mars as he transferred from Georgia to Illinois, but he was not granted immediate eligibility.
Mars also represented Houston Nutt in his defamation lawsuit against Ole Miss.
Mars has seen many cases for immediate eligibility, but he claims he’s never seen anything quite like the Cade Mays situation.
“Of all the waiver cases I’ve been involved in, I’ve never seen anything quite like this one,” Mars wrote in an email to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “For the sake of everyone who loves college football, I hope I never see another one.”
The 6-foot-6, 318-pound lineman was a five-star prospect who played for Knoxville Catholic coming out of high school. He committed to the Vols in 2015 but announced his decommitment from UT in November of 2017, just days before the firing of then-head coach Butch Jones. Mays wound up committing to and signing with Georgia as part of their star-studded 2018 class.
At Georgia, Mays played in 11 of the Bulldogs’ 14 games as a true freshman and started seven contests. He was named to the Freshman All-American Team by the Football Writers Association of America as well as being voted a Coaches Freshman All-SEC performer.
As a sophomore, Mays started in 11 games and played in all 14 of Georgia’s games. He made six starts at right guard, two at right tackle, two at left guard, and one at left tackle. He even played at center in Georgia’s match-up with Missouri.
Mays’ younger brother, Cooper, signed on with Tennessee as a four-star center as part of the Vols’ 2020 early signing class back in December.
Cade Mays, nor anyone in his family, has stated why Mays is electing to transfer to Tennessee. According to Mars, that’s nobody’s business but the Mays’ family.
“The fact that a college student is a high-profile student-athlete doesn’t entitle everyone who has a Twitter account or press credentials to know every little detail about that student’s college experience,” Mars wrote. “That said, of the thousands of college football fans who’ve speculated on social media why Cade decided to leave UGA, I haven’t seen a single comment that even comes close to the truth.”
There’s no known timetable on when Mays or Tennessee should hear back about Mays’ eligibility for the 2020 season.