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Rumors of Pittsburgh’s star receiver Jordan Addison potentially entering the NCAA transfer portal engulfed the college football world over the weekend.
Addison reportedly had until May 1 to decide whether to enter the transfer portal, but it didn’t appear he had entered as the deadline came and went.
Pittsburgh coach Pat Narduzzi called USC coach Lincoln Riley to express his displeasure of the idea Addison would commit to the school when it was rumored as a potential destination, ESPN reported Friday. Pittsburgh officials reportedly suspected USC may have been tampering.
A return to Pittsburgh is still an option for Addison, according to the report. For Addison to be eligible to play the 2022 season without a waiver he would have to enter the transfer portal before May 1. Anything after that, he would have to sit out the entire season.
Narduzzi’s reported anger toward Riley appeared to be a different tone than what he said about Brian Kelly and Notre Dame’s alleged attempt to lure Kenny Pickett away from Pittsburgh in 2021, Trojans Wire noted. In February, Narduzzi seemingly let Kelly off the hook and blamed the process on the “back channels.”
Addison was a consensus All-American and the Fred Biletnikoff Award winner in 2021 after a stellar season. He had 100 catches for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns.
Riley bolted from Oklahoma to the USC and soon after Sooners quarterback Caleb Williams followed him.
College football coaches have expressed worries about the lack of regulations around name, image and likeness (NIL) and the transfer portal.
Alabama coach Nick Saban told The Associated Press last month the NCAA’s current way of doing business is unsustainable.
“The concept of name, image and likeness was for players to be able to use their name, image and likeness to create opportunities for themselves. That’s what it was,” Saban said. “So last year, on our team, our guys probably made as much or more than anybody in the country.”
Heisman Trophy winner Bryce Young had an endorsement deal with a local BMW dealer, Jameson Williams had a deal with Bose, and Kool-Aid McKinstry inked a deal with Kool-Aid.
NIL deals have been intertwined with recruiting with the college transfer portal hotter than ever.
“But that creates a situation where you can basically buy players,” Saban added. “You can do it in recruiting. I mean, if that’s what we want college football to be, I don’t know. And you can also get players to get in the transfer portal to see if they can get more someplace else than they can get at your place.”
Saban said he supported players being compensated but added there is an issue with players free to move from school to school without repercussion.
“We now have an NFL model with no contracts, but everybody has free agency,” he said. “It’s fine for players to get money. I’m all for that. I’m not against that. But there also has to be some responsibility on both ends, which you could call a contract. So that you have an opportunity to develop people in a way that’s going to help them be successful.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.