LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A week after being accused by Louisville head coach Scott Satterfield of tampering, Alabama head coach Nick Saban is denying the accusation.
Speaking to reporters ahead of the Regions Tradition Pro-Am at Greystone Golf & Country Club, Saban was asked about comments from Satterfield saying that he tampered with wide receiver Tyler Harrell before he entered the transfer portal.
“We don’t tamper with anybody, so I don’t know about anything or anybody that tampered with him,” Saban said.
Saban also responded to comments made by Florida State coach Mike Norvell regarding tampering, saying that "it’s really hard to control third parties, whether it’s direct or indirect.“
"When you have a guy leave your program to go someplace else the day after a game, I don’t have any evidence that anything happened -- and I’m not making any accusations, but it makes you wonder, I guess," he continued. "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.”
Last week in an interview with 247Sports' Chris Hummer, Satterfield said that he "believes (tampering) occurred" when Harrell entered the portal and committed to Alabama 10 days later, but admitted that there was "little he can prove".
“I think it’s not only him, it’s happened before here,” Satterfield told 247Sports. “Last year we had a few guys that jumped into the portal and the next day they’re announcing where they’re going. You can look at that and know that something went on before they were in the portal.”
The speedster entered the portal back on Apr. 12, not long after the end of spring ball, but rumors of his next destination had been floating around social media in the few days prior. When Harrell finally entered the portal, a source told Louisville Report that it was widely anticipated he would transfer to Alabama.
After playing in just three total games over the course of his first three years on campus, including none in 2020, Harrell had a breakout redshirt sophomore season. On just 18 total receptions, the 6-foot, 197-pound receiver logged 523 yards and a team-best six touchdowns.
A native of Miami, Fla., Harrell regularly beat safeties and other defensive backs over the top with his elite speed. During a Pro Day style event last offseason, head coach Scott Satterfield said that he ran a hand-timed 4.19 40-yard dash.
Louisville finished last season with a mark of 6-7 and 4-4 in ACC play, including a 31-28 loss in the First Responder Bowl against Air Force. The Cardinals will kick off their 2022 campaign at Syracuse on Saturday, Sept. 3.
(Photo of Nick Saban: Matthew Emmons - USA TODAY Sports)
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