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Nick Saban responds to tampering allegation from rival coach

Nick Saban in an Alabama shirt

Sep 11, 2021; Tuscaloosa, Alabama, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama coach Nick Saban has issued a response after a rival coach suggested the Crimson Tide had engaged in tampering with transfers.

In a recent interview with Chris Hummer of 247 Sports, Louisville coach Scott Satterfield suggested that he believed Alabama had been involved in tampering with former Cardinals wide receiver Tyler Harrell. Satterfield admitted he “can’t prove anything,” but suggested that something inappropriate may have happened to lead Harrell to announce his transfer to Alabama ten days after entering the portal.

Saban denied any tampering claims Wednesday, though he also suggested that he understood why Satterfield might be suspicious.

“I don’t know of anybody that tampered with him,” Saban said of Harrell, via Alex Scarborough of ESPN. “You know, I don’t really know that anybody’s ever tampered with our players. I just think sometimes when things happen it makes you wonder. So I’m not making any accusations against anybody that’s done anything to our players and I don’t have any knowledge of anybody that’s done anything with anybody else’s players.”

Harrell had entered the transfer portal on April 12. He attended Alabama’s spring game four days later, then announced his decision to transfer to the Crimson Tide on April 22. He did not appear to seriously consider any other schools during the transfer process.

Tampering with transfer players has been a hot topic in college football as the sport comes to grips with name, image, and likeness rules. Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi has seemingly had his own suspicions about one of his own players lately. This sort of thing is very difficult to prove, however, making it extremely difficult to police. Both Satterfield and Saban know that.


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