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#pounditThursday, June 30, 2022

Articles tagged: Lincoln Riley

Report: Pat Narduzzi furious with Lincoln Riley over reported transfer

Pat Narduzzi in a Pitt shirt

Oct 5, 2019; Durham, NC, USA; Pittsburgh Panthers head coach Pat Narduzzi looks on before the game against the Duke Blue Devils at Wallace Wade Stadium. The Pittsburgh Panthers defeated the Duke Blue Devils 33-30. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The overhaul of NCAA rules regarding transfers and NIL rights has led to a lot of new issues for coaches to deal with. It may also spark at least one high-level coaching feud.

Reports indicated Friday that Pitt wide receiver Jordan Addison is considering a transfer, with USC among the All-American’s potential destinations. Addison had 100 catches for 1,593 yards and 17 touchdowns last season.

The potential loss of Addison led Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi to make several calls to USC coach Lincoln Riley to express his displeasure, according to Pete Thamel of ESPN.

Pitt officials believe tampering may have occurred with Addison. Such charges would be difficult to prove, but they are likely fueling the anger from Pitt toward Riley and USC.

Riley has aggressively retooled the USC program since taking over as coach at the end of last season. That, combined with how he has conducted himself since the move, has made him some enemies, and Narduzzi may be one of them going forward.

Lincoln Riley buys massive $17.2 million mansion with ocean views

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

Lincoln Riley is living large in Los Angeles.

Riley shocked the college football world in November when he left Oklahoma to take the USC job. The Trojans handled the process in stealth fashion, as nobody knew Riley was headed there.

Riley chose to leave Oklahoma for USC in part because the Sooners were heading to the SEC, while USC is in the weaker Pac-12. Not only that, but the opportunity to coach and live in Los Angeles was very attractive to Riley. He was paid huge money by the Trojans, and he also bought one heck of a house.

Dirt.com reported on Tuesday that Riley paid $17.2 million for a 13,000 square foot mansion in Palos Verdes, Calif. The mansion is a historic Spanish Revival-style residence known as the “Roessler Estate,” named after Fred Roessler, the first mayor of Palos Verdes. It contains seven bedrooms and 12 bathrooms.

The mansion overlooks the ocean and includes “an elevator, seven fireplaces, a movie theater, tennis court, putting green, sauna and steam rooms, a 600-bottle wine room and a generator.”

Here is a video of the property:

Riley got a massive contract from USC and the house to match.

With a property like that, who would ever want to leave the house?

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley shares insulting comment about USC transfers

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

Lincoln Riley shared a pretty insulting comment about the transfers he has landed since taking the USC job.

Riley, who became USC’s head coach in November, shocked the college football world when he left Oklahoma for the job with the Trojans.

It didn’t take long for some of the recruits Riley had lined up at Oklahoma to flip to USC. Next, Riley started locking up some former Sooners players.

First, former Oklahoma receiver Mario Williams transferred to USC. Most recently, it was Caleb Wiliams who transferred from Oklahoma to USC.

In an interview with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday from Radio Row at the Super Bowl, Riley defended his transfers. He said he “didn’t take players from Oklahoma. We took players from the transfer portal.”

Come on, Lincoln. You really expect us to buy that? You recruited the players to Oklahoma. Then you got them to follow you to USC. You didn’t just pluck random players from the portal with whom you had no previous connection.

Does he really think he has us fooled with this kind of wordplay?

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Tosh Lupoi has some trash talk for USC coach Lincoln Riley

Tosh Lupoi talks

New Oregon defensive coordinator Tosh Lupoi is wasting no time trying to establish rivalries in the Pac-12. That included some trash talk for Lincoln Riley during signing week.

Lupoi played at Cal from 2000-2005 and then coached at his alma mater from 2008-2011. He coached at Washington thereafter and became known for his recruiting prowess. That led him to Alabama, where he coached from 2014-2018.

In the 2018 season, Lupoi was the defensive coordinator for Alabama. They lost to Clemson in the national championship that year. But before reaching that game, they beat Riley’s Oklahoma Sooners 45-34.

Lupoi was asked during a Signing Day event on Wednesday whether he wears his national championship rings while recruiting. Someone also brought up Riley in the context of Oklahoma’s CFP experiences.

That’s when Lupoi flexed about how his defense shut down Riley’s offense, which included Kyler Murray.

“He did get close (to winning a national championship),” Lupoi said of Riley. “Real close. We actually played them. I was the defensive coordinator on the other side of the line. He had a guy named Kyler Murray. Really good player. It was 28-0 in the first quarter. But he did get close, you’re right.”

You have to love that attitude.

Bama got out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter and led 28-0 early in the second. It wasn’t until later in the second half that the Sooners offense started to figure things out and making the final score look respectable.

The Pac-12 has very much become a forgotten conference in college football. But Riley at USC and Lupoi at Oregon could help add some spice back to the conference.

Lincoln Riley adds another ex-Oklahoma star at USC

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

Lincoln Riley continues to work the transfer portal to bring talent he knows well to USC.

Wide receiver Mario Williams, who played for Riley in 2021 at Oklahoma, announced Saturday that he will transfer to USC. The announcement was accompanied by a social media video of Williams posing in front of the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Williams made an impact as a true freshman in 2021, catching 35 passes for 380 yards and four touchdowns. A highly-touted recruit out of high school, his move to the Trojans will add further depth and talent to a rapidly improving roster.

There’s no reason to believe Riley is done working the transfer portal to bring in talent. In fact, there is some reason to believe the biggest name may be yet to come.

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley has interesting explanation for taking USC job

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

Lincoln Riley’s decision to leave Oklahoma for USC came as a real shocker. One of the big reasons for the confusion was what Riley had to gain by doing it. He has been successful at Oklahoma and had the full support of the program, so the logical conclusion for many was that it was about the money.

Riley offered a different explanation, and a very interesting one at that. The coach suggested that he thought his ceiling at USC would be higher than it was at Oklahoma.

“One of the things I evaluated in this opportunity is I think we can build one of the best rosters in the country,” Riley told Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks of the “Move The Sticks” podcast. “I don’t think. I know we can. … As college football is changing and a lot of things are shifting, each program, you’ve got to have your niche. You’ve got to have your thing that separates you or makes you different. I think this is one of the most unique settings and unique opportunities in college football, not just for coaches, but for players.

“My confidence level that we can build a roster that will be as good as anybody in the country is very high. It’s because of the people here and the opportunities here and I think that’s something that can happen very quickly.”

Oklahoma fans will be even more peeved by Riley’s comment, as it can be taken as a suggestion that the Sooners can’t compete as capably with college football’s elite. Riley’s calculation might be pretty sound, though. Oklahoma’s coming move to the SEC may be beneficial financially, but winning games will be harder in a much more difficult conference. By comparison, the Pac-12 is much more winnable. Plus, Southern California is a hotbed of talent to recruit, and Riley has already been successful in doing so.

To his credit, Riley has tried to soothe the emotions of Oklahoma fans. Right now, there is almost nothing he can say to do so. Remarks like this will probably just make it worse for the time being, whatever the rationale might be.

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley has message for Oklahoma fans sore about his move

Lincoln Riley at a press conference

The University of Oklahoma, Sooners players and their legions of fans are not exactly thrilled with Lincoln Riley. And why would they be following his abrupt departure to USC?

Things have gotten so sour that Senator Bill Coleman of Ponca City even proposed a bill this week that would rename a desolate section of State Highway 325 to the “Lincoln Riley Highway.”

“I felt the State of Oklahoma needed an appropriate goodbye to this former head coach whose sudden departure left many in shock, including a team of young, dedicated college players,” Coleman said in a news release. “I found the tiniest section of our most desolate of highways to pay tribute to Coach Riley’s exit from Oklahoma football and the state. This is only fitting as this is the last three inches one sees before leaving our great state heading west.”

Riley has heard it all and he’s seen it all. It hasn’t stopped him from poaching recruits from Oklahoma, but he remains hopeful that someday bygones will be bygones.

“I hope time will heal that, I really do,” Riley said during an appearance on The Rich Eisen Show. “I understand they’re disappointed that we left. [There’s] a lot of love for that place. Me and my family poured our heart and soul into that place for seven years. Loved every second of it. Had a tremendous run of championships, success on and off the field. We’ve got nothing but love.

“These things, when you leave a university, they either fire you or you leave on your own accord and neither one of them are easy and we understand it. Our love for that place will never go away. We certainly hope as time goes on, the time over there will be remembered fondly and everybody will remember all the great success we had together.”

Riley’s plea will undoubtedly fall on deaf ears. At least for now.

Interim Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has said he didn’t take Riley’s exit personally and fans shouldn’t, either. That, of course, is easier said than done despite Riley going 55-10 over five seasons with the Sooners, winning four Big 12 championships and advancing to the College Football Playoffs three times.

They say time heals all wounds, but Riley bailing may take a few extra years to get over for some.

Photo: Jul 14, 2021; Arlington, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners head coach Lincoln Riley speaks to the media during Big 12 media days at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley is subject of brutal proposal by Oklahoma lawmaker

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

The Oklahoma Sooners have moved on and named a new football coach after Lincoln Riley’s abrupt departure for USC. Some, however, still want to take one more parting shot at the former coach.

That includes Oklahoma state senator Bill Coleman of Ponca City. On Tuesday, Coleman proposed renaming a three-inch stretch of state highway the “Lincoln Riley Highway.” The kicker? The proposal covers the last three inches of the westbound lane of State Highway 325, which crosses the border into New Mexico.

“I felt the State of Oklahoma needed an appropriate goodbye to this former head coach whose sudden departure left many in shock, including a team of young, dedicated college players,” Coleman said in a news release, via Mark Schlabach of ESPN. “I found the tiniest section of our most desolate of highways to pay tribute to Coach Riley’s exit from Oklahoma football and the state. This is only fitting as this is the last three inches one sees before leaving our great state heading west.”

It’s not clear how seriously the bill will be considered, if it will be at all. It’s definitely an indication of how many in Oklahoma feel about Riley’s exit, including some of his former players.

Don’t expect Riley to lose much sleep over this. He’s already building a potential contender at USC, and he’s doing it at the Sooners’ expense. That just makes the departure even more bitter.

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Lincoln Riley gets third top recruit to flip from Oklahoma to USC

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

One of the reasons the USC Trojans targeted Lincoln Riley as head coach is because he’ll be able to recruit with the heavyweights and attract top talent to the school. So far, Riley is delivering.

Wide receiver Makai Lemon, a five-star recruit in the class of 2023, announced Friday that he would decommit from Oklahoma and follow Riley to USC.

Lemon becomes the third five-star recruit to flip from Oklahoma to USC since Riley’s hiring. 2022 four-star running back Raleek Brown announced Thursday that he would also attend USC, while standout 2023 quarterback prospect Malachi Nelson became the first to make the switch on Tuesday after widespread speculation that he would do so.

Notably, all three players play their high school football in Southern California. Riley had initially succeeded in luring them out of state, then kept them from leaving California after taking the USC job. This is significant, as one of the major criticisms of some of Riley’s predecessors at USC was their inability to keep elite high school players from leaving the state. If Riley can continue to secure commitments from players in the talent-rich region, USC will be nationally relevant again very quickly.

There had been talk that Riley might be able to flip top 2023 wide receiver prospect DeAndre Moore, another Southern California-based recruit who had committed to Oklahoma. Moore has so far made clear, however, that he intends to honor his commitment to the Sooners.

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma players call out Lincoln Riley over USC quote

Lincoln Riley does Fight On sign

A few Oklahoma Sooners players called out Lincoln Riley via Instagram over a quote the coach offered about USC.

Riley was Oklahoma’s head coach from 2017-2021 and coached the Sooners to a heartbreaking loss in their Bedlam game against rival Oklahoma State on Saturday. Hours later, he was negotiating with USC to become their next head coach. You can see how that would be troubling to many of the Sooners players.

On Monday, Riley was introduced by USC as their next head coach. The Trojans’ football account on Instagram promoted the hiring with numerous graphics and postings. One post included a quote from Riley in which he declared, “this is going to be the mecca of college football.”

That quote, which USC Football’s Instagram page promoted, bothered some Sooners players.

Defensive lineman Isaiah Thomas called out Riley for being a snake, saying in a comment on USC’s post that the coach “told us that last week.”

Linebacker Nik Bonitto also replied to the post with a comment. He said “LOL,” which is an acronym for “laughing out loud,” likely because he thought the comment was B.S.

The anger from the Oklahoma players is completely understandable. They likely feel abandoned by their coach, and a report details how blindsided they were. As for Riley, maybe he feels his comment about the “mecca of college football” is less about the school where he’s coaching, and more about where he is coaching.

Photo: Nov 29, 2021; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Lincoln Riley poses with Fight on sign during a press conference to introduce Riley as Southern California Trojans head coach. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports