Alabama’s Nick Saban refutes tampering allegations


As soon as Louisville wide receiver Tyler Harrell put his name on the transfer portal, there were reports linking the fast wide receiver to Alabama as a transfer destination.

A few days later, Harrell was on campus in Alabama for a visit and it didn’t take him much longer to announce their commitment to the Crimson Tide. The whole process – Harrell appearing on the portal on April 12 and committing to Alabama on April 22 – took 10 days, leading to questions about tampering.

Harrell caught 18 passes for 532 yards and six touchdowns last season, so he’s a notable addition for Alabama and a big loss for Louisville. Louisville Head Coach Scott Satterfield told 247Sports that he thinks Harrell’s recruitment was tampered with, though he has no way to definitively prove it.

“I think it’s not just him, it’s happened here before,” Satterfield told 247Sports. “Last year we had a few guys who jumped in the portal and the next day they announce where they are going. You can watch this and know something happened before they were in the portal.

Asked about the claim on Wednesday, Alabama head coach Nick Saban said his program isn’t “trafficking anyone.”

“We are not smuggling anyone. I don’t know anything or anyone who tampered with it. Saban said by Al.com.

Louisville wide receiver Tyler Harrell (8) runs down the field during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Louisville, Ky., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Tampering more prevalent than ever in college football

In today’s college football environment that includes the one-time transfer rule and NIL payouts, tampering has been a controversial topic this offseason (just ask Pitt fans about Jordan Addison’s situation).

Although teams are not allowed to speak to potential transfers until their name is on the portal, you will often see a player enter the portal and announce a commitment to a new school within days. Typically, there’s behind-the-scenes communications — usually with a third party like a high school coach — to make those arrangements happen.

Tampering has always happened in the background, but it seems more prevalent than ever now that players have so much more freedom of movement than in the past.

“I think it’s really difficult to control third parties – whether it’s direct or indirect,” Saban said. “When you have a guy who leaves your program and goes somewhere else the day after the game, it makes you wonder. I hope we have enough honesty and integrity among us professionally in our sport that people play by the rules.

Alabama has seen more than 20 of its players enter the transfer portal since last season. The Tide, however, added five transfers which should have a lot of impact. In addition to Harrell, Alabama added former Georgia wide receiver Jermaine Burton, former Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs, former LSU cornerback Eli Ricks and former Vanderbilt tackle Tyler Steen. .

Louisville has also been active in the portal with running back Tiyon Evans and wide receiver Tyler Hudson among the team’s most notable offseason additions.

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