HOOVER, Ala. — With the transfer portal creating free agency of sorts in college football, discussions of whether tampering has been involved have been prevalent.
Recently, Louisville coach Scott Satterfield told 247Sports he believes tampering occurred with receiver Tyler Harrell who announced this spring he would be transferring to Alabama. But there’s not much Satterfield said he can prove.
Alabama football coach Nick Saban was asked about those comments Wednesday ahead of playing in the Regions Tradition Pro-Am at Greystone Golf and Country Club.
“We don’t tamper with anybody,” Saban said. “I don’t know of anything or anybody that tampered with him. I don’t really know that anybody has tampered with our players. I just think that sometimes when things happen, it makes you wonder. I’m not making any accusations against anybody that has done anything with our players, and I don’t have any knowledge of anybody that has done anything with anybody else’s players.”
Teams are not permitted to contact a player until he enters his name in the NCAA transfer portal.
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Alabama has added five transfers this season in Harrell, Georgia’s Jermaine Burton, Georgia Tech’s Jahmyr Gibbs, LSU’s Eli Ricks and Vanderbilt’s Tyler Steen. Meanwhile, 26 Crimson Tide players, scholarship and walk-ons, have entered the transfer portal.
Saban was also asked if he has experienced tampering with his own players and what needs to be done.
“I think it’s really hard to control third parties, whether it’s direct or indirect,” Saban said. “When you have a guy leave your program and go someplace else the day after the game … I don’t have any evidence that anything happened, and I’m not making accusations, but it makes you wonder I guess. But hopefully, we have enough honesty and integrity out there amongst us professionally in our sport that people are going to abide by the rules.”
Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men’s basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly