Posted by Bryan Fischer
UCF head coach George O'Leary discussed not releasing quarterback DaMarcus Smith from his letter of intent after the Knights' practice today. Video courtesy of The Orlando Sentinel.
Regarding DaMarcus Smith asking to be released from his LOI:
"I met with him a month ago. He basically talked to me about the situation. He left me saying he was 100 percent a Knight. Every time he goes back to the Louisville area, it seems to be questionable what's taking place there. His mother called me last night and expressed that they would like a release. I told her, 'No.' They have to do what they have to do as far as an appeal. They have to do that. They're not getting a release from UCF."
On the importance of the LOI:
"To me, you spend a lot of money, a lot of time and a lot of hours recruiting a kid. I think the big thing is that you sign a legal document. That's what it is, a legal document. I've never in all my coaching given a release to an LOI. I'm not about to start. He knew that. I told him that. Again, that's why they have such a stiff penalty for people who don't fulfill the NLI."
Whether Smith gave a reason for wanting out:
"Not really, except that he really wants to go to Louisville. That's why there's a long recruiting period. A letter was signed by him and his mom. Again, I think as a head coach of a Division I program, those letters are what commits a youngster to your program, just like it commits us to them with financial aid. Again, as far as we're concerned, it's out of our hands. They'll file an appeal. It's not our decision. Our decision is not to grant a release. I would never grant a release in any situation, really."
On UCF's quarterback situation in the fall:
"That's the other thing you look at. You look at it a couple different ways. Now who is the victim? Because we stopped recruiting quarterbacks when he basically let us know he was involved and wanted to be here, long before National Signing Day. We'll work fine. That's why I'm still giving Rob (Calabrese) some reps today. There's a method to the madness."