It seems the Lincoln Riley era at USC might be getting off to a rough start — at least when it comes to NCAA rules.
A paper trail on social media shows that Roy Manning, who coached cornerbacks under Riley at Oklahoma, appears to have made recruiting efforts for both schools.
That’s not permitted by the NCAA. Recruiting personnel are highly regulated and restricted to a small number of active coaches designated by the school for the role.
Manning hasn’t been formally hired yet by Riley, but on Monday night, he was welcomed back to “the blue skies and sunshine of LA” by a California junior college assistant coach in a tweet that was deleted by Tuesday.
Manning, however, was still recruiting for the Sooners.
On Monday night — opening day of the current recruiting period — Robert Spears Jennings, a 3-star defensive back from Broken Arrow, OK, thanked Manning, OU assistant coach Cale Gundy, recruiting analyst Chip Viney and interim head coach Bob Stoops for stopping by on a visit.
On Tuesday, Xavion Brice, a 3-star wide receiver from Seguin, TX, thanked Manning, OU assistant Cale Gundy and interim coach Bob Stoops for visiting.
Meanwhile, USC recruit Domani Jackson told 247 Sports’ Greg Biggins that Riley was “blowing up my phone” and said Riley “wants to send in coach (Alex) Grinch and then he’ll come in later. I’ve heard from coach Grinch too and also Roy Manning, who was the DB coach at OU. I’ve been texting back and forth with coach Manning, and looking forward to meeting those guys in person.”
According to Jackson, Manning is recruiting him as a representative of USC. Jackson told 247 Sports that he’s now cut his list of schools down to Alabama and USC.
As of Wednesday morning, Manning’s Twitter bio still indicates he’s still cornerbacks coach at Oklahoma, but that’s not official. As late as Tuesday night, Riley’s Twitter bio said he was still head coach at OU even though he was formally introduced at USC Monday afternoon. (As of Wednesday morning, Riley’s bio has been changed to reflect his new employer.)
The OU compliance department’s Twitter account — which hadn’t posted since Nov. 11 — sent a public tweet that they were watching.
Several OU defensive backs, including Joshua Eaton, Jaden Davis and Jeremiah Criddell, also chimed in on Tuesday, sounding somewhat in disbelief.
Finally, Spears-Jennings posted a gif showing his surprise — and his sense of humor.
So far, Riley has formally brought Grinch, receivers coach Dennis Simmons, strength coach Bennie Wylie and director of operations Clark Stroud with him to Southern Cal. Other OU coaches could still join him in LA.