Alabama’s Saban denies tampering with Louisville transfer

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Alabama coach Nick Saban denies that anybody from his program had contact with receiver Tyler Harrell before the former Louisville player entered the transfer portal, which would have violated NCAA rules.

Saban responded to a suggestion from Louisville coach Scott Satterfield that Alabama had tampered with Harrell, who has since transferred to the Crimson Tide.

“We don’t tamper with anybody, so I don’t know about anything or anybody that tampered with him,” Saban told reporters Wednesday before playing in the Regions Tradition Pro-Am.

Satterfield made the accusation last week in an interview with 247Sports.

“I think it’s not only him, it’s happened before here,” Satterfield said in the interview. “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.”

Harrell entered the transfer portal on April 12 and committed to Alabama 10 days later.

Alabama has had 18 scholarship players enter the transfer portal this offseason. Saban said he doesn’t have any knowledge of other schools tampering with any of his players but “I just think sometimes when things happen it makes you wonder.”

“I think it’s really hard to control third parties, whether it’s direct or indirect,” Saban said. “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.

“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.”

Alabama is trying to replace its three top receivers, including All-American Jameson Williams, who was selected 12th overall by the Detroit Lions. Harrell caught 18 passes for 523 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Alabama has also added several other high-profile transfers, including Georgia receiver Jermaine Burton, LSU cornerback Eli Ricks, Georgia Tech tailback Jahmyr Gibbs and Vanderbilt offensive lineman Tyler Steen.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
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CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.