Did USC tamper with Pitt WR Jordan Addison before he entered the portal? | College Football Enquirer

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss reports that Pitt WR Jordan Addison is planning to transfer to USC due to NIL opportunities, and debate what the punishments should be for coaches who are caught tampering with players at other schools.

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: Jordan Addison, 100 catches last year at Pitt, almost 1,600 yards, 17 touchdowns, is apparently leaving Pitt. Now, he has not been announced yet, but we're presuming he will. All the stories, all the rumors all the reports have him going to the University of Southern California. So to me, there are two levels to this story. One is the reasonable parts, and one is the hysteria.

PAT FORDE: Oh, we'll do both.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah, we'll do both, absolutely. I'll give you the floor here, thoughts on this Jordan Addison situation.

PAT FORDE: It is ongoing, simmering, and potentially ready to reach a boiling point if and when his name appears in the portal because Pittsburgh, obviously, has gone on the offensive here by making this public that they believe that he's going to transfer, or is entertaining it, and publicly naming USC.

And Pat Narduzzi is calling Lincoln Riley, and they have just been making incredible amount of hay since Riley got there. I mean, they have raided Oklahoma. They took a great running back from Oregon. They've got other players from elsewhere. And now, if you add him and the receiver, Mario Williams, from Oklahoma, Holy Moly, that offense is now loaded.

So from a football standpoint, wow. I mean, look out for them. And I feel badly for Pittsburgh because they've built their program up now. They win the ACC for the first time. You lose Kenny Pickett, but transfer portal giveth, transfer portal taketh away. They got Kedon Slovis from USC to come in as a real high-quality transfer quarterback, and they were envisioning him throwing deep spirals to Jordan Addison, who now may be catching them at Kedon Slovis's old school.

So from a football standpoint, this is a big, big deal for both schools for sure. So that's my take on the reasonable side of it. At least in terms of football.

DAN WETZEL: All right, how about this part? I think this part would also be reasonable. Was there tampering, OK?

PAT FORDE: Well, I would say there certainly does appear to have been tampering. Now-- but somebody define tampering for me, OK?

DAN WETZEL: Well, I'm not going to bore you with the exact parlance, but the basic thing is the schools-- the coaches-- are not free to contact the individual until a student athlete's name is in the database, the portal.

PAT FORDE: OK.

DAN WETZEL: OK? Until then, you can't contact. Players can do whatever the hell they want.

PAT FORDE: Yep.

DAN WETZEL: OK? And this is where it gets very dicey. What is-- the NIL collective guy, the business guy, can he contact? Yes. They're behind on this.

Tampering is a Level II violation, so it doesn't even matter. And coaches have always been complaining about tampering, but they all tamper. College sports should work very hard to make extremely serious penalties to any coach that tampers.

Now, you've got to prove they tamper. They'll probably be able to work around it, but it doesn't matter. On the books should be significant penalties. There will still be tampering, but the penalty should be, like, 10 scholarships gone, and the coach has got a five-year show cause, and we should be able to wrap this in, like, three weeks.

PAT FORDE: Right.

DAN WETZEL: Because we could get everybody's cell phone records and emails, and boom. The NFL, there's tons of tampering, OK? But they have very serious rules on it to try to curb it a little bit.

PAT FORDE: Right.

DAN WETZEL: And if you absolutely-- they should absolutely hammer anyone who tampers. That is a coach violation, and that-- it's good for the game. And there should be no excuse, except all the coaches tamper, so they don't push for this. It should be a Level I crush you.

And so if SC is in it at all, busted. And if it's harsh enough, enough of these guys will be so scared of doing it, and the head coach will be so determined to prohibit it, there will not be tampering, OK? So that part should not be allowed.

However, if you enter the portal, you're going to enter the portal, and eventually you're going to talk to USC. So it's not that big of a deal. But to me, there is no excuse to not go hardcore on tampering except, per usual, this is a coach violation, so the coaches don't-- the NCAA doesn't want to punish the coaches for stuff that they all do.

But if a player did something-- this is like the-- this is the old NCAA, right?

PAT FORDE: Right. Coach, yeah. yeah, you shouldn't have done that, Level II. Player calls home on a long distance code, you're done for 10 games. So that part, I think, is very, very legit. However, everything else for Pitt, it's just a tough deal.