That means MI could face the former Notre Dame quarterback in its September 2 season opener in Arlington.
School presidents and chancellors voted to reduce penalties for programs whose graduate transfers fail to meet academic requirements. The league also tabled a proposal that would have allowed intra-conference graduate transfers.
The timing of the vote is rather convenient for the Florida Gators.
As for Florida head coach Jim McElwain, this ho-hum Friday in the offseason has suddenly become one of the biggest days since he arrived in Gainesville.
An approved rule change at SEC spring meetings could mean a Texas quarterback target is headed to Florida.
Previously, the SEC's graduate transfer rules had been considerably more strict than similar guidelines for other conferences.
Regardless, the rule is effective immediately, removing the only obstacle between Zaire and the Gators.
In three seasons at Notre Dame, Zaire completed 59.2 percent of his passes for 816 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. If Zaire chooses the Gators, he would have 10 weeks to learn Florida's offense, compete for the starting job and get ready for the season opener against MI on September 2 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"We are not making decisions based on an individual,"SEC commissioner said via al.com in response to the apparent convenient timing for Florida".
The SEC tweaked its graduate transfer policy Friday, June 2, 2017, making changes that would allow former Notre Dame quarterback Malik Zaire to land at Florida.
"I want to get in before fall camp and before school starts so I can be around the guys and get rolling on those relationships", Zaire said. The league stepped in and granted Smith to a waiver to transfer to Georgia.