Otis Reese says he was ‘manipulated’ by Kirby Smart; details experiences of racism on Georgia campus

Noble Horvath

Update: Georgia has responded to Reese’s comments. With no word from the NCAA, former Georgia defensive back Otis Reese is appealing to the court of public opinion for his 2020 eligibility. His case includes some explosive accusations regarding Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart and the campus environment at UGA. Reese, now […]

Update: Georgia has responded to Reese’s comments.

With no word from the NCAA, former Georgia defensive back Otis Reese is appealing to the court of public opinion for his 2020 eligibility. His case includes some explosive accusations regarding Bulldogs coach Kirby Smart and the campus environment at UGA.

Reese, now at Ole Miss, attached a lengthy note in a Tuesday night tweet.

“I have learned recently that UGA has opposed my waiver which is unfortunate considering what I was told when I attempted to leave last year,” Reese writes in the opening paragraph.

Reese said he transferred from Georgia because his time in Athens “took a devastating mental toll” on him, citing multiple instances of observed racism and harassment by police.

As for leaving the Bulldogs football team, Reese shares the following:

“[W]hen I chose to leave the team, I was led to believe by Coach Smart that if I finished the season and not ‘Let my team down’ as he requested, he would support both my decision to transfer and my request to be immediately eligible. (The NCAA has a text message from myself to Coach Smart which verifies my intent to leave on Oct 4th of last season, in which I was manipulated to play the very next day, when I truly was at my darkest moment.),” Reese writes.

Reese says he was harassed by police on two occasions despite being “polite, respectful and compliant.” He also shared that one of his closest friends and teammates was called the n-word by a white student-athlete. He also observed a group of white classmates mock slavery and “pretend to whip each other.” Reese adds that the two events were “very public.”

His full note, which offers praise for Lane Kiffin, can be read below:

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