Georgia Football

Kirby to the NFL?

January 6, 2019

ATHENS - The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are interested in talking with UGA coach Kirby Smart about their vacant head coach position.

That’s according to a report from CBS NFL Insider Jason La Canfora that was published Saturday. 

“In particular, sources said that Tampa Bay's ownership – still hopeful of making a splash – would be interested in speaking to Georgia coach Kirby Smart, a former Saban assistant.”

But a new rule put in place Tampa Bay would have to get permission from UGA athletic director before formally talking with Kirby about the opening. That’s according to the NFL’s anti-tampering policy. 

“Before an NFL club has discussions regarding the possible hiring of a college coach or other employee, that club should first determine whether the employee is under contract. If the employee is under contract, the club must seek permission from the Athletic Director or other appropriate college official to have discussions with the employee. If permission is granted, the NFL club may proceed to discuss employment opportunities and to hire the college employee, subject to any limitation expressed in the grant of consent. If permission is denied, the NFL club should respect that decision just as it would respect a similar decision from another NFL club. NFL clubs that fail to follow these protocols may be subject to disciplinary action for conduct detrimental to the League.”

NBC’s NFL Insider Mike Florio reported in December that the league “reminded teams at the December ownership meetings that, before a college coach may be contacted, the team must seek and obtain permission from the Athletic Director at the college in question. The teams were told that, if permission is denied, the pursuit must end.”

Kirby is 32-10 in three seasons at Georgia. The Bulldogs appear set to secure their third top-three recruiting class in a row this winter. 

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