Lincoln Riley was on Colin Cowherd's show, The Herd on FS1, to discuss really all things USC football this week.
One of the most important points from the show was when he addressed the claims that he has 'stolen players from Oklahoma.' Of course, this is a ridiculous narrative, as those players chose to enter the transfer portal where anyone could snatch them up. It's not the USC portal, but rather the transfer portal.
Here's the quote from Riley on the show:
I mean, what he's saying is the literal truth. Those kids and their families decided that it was in their best interest to open up their recruitment, and they ended up choosing USC. They could have gone anywhere, including Oklahoma, and they decided that USC was the best fit for them personally.
USC Football Head Coach Lincoln Riley did nothing wrong.
As Reign of Troy's own Alicia de Artola pointed out on Twitter, this has always been how the transfer portal works, and the Sooners do the same thing themselves.
Oklahoma fans certainly weren't complaining last year when they ravaged Tennessee's roster. It's simply how the transfer portal works. Of course, everyone can dish it, but not everyone can take it.
And Oklahoma has utilized the transfer portal almost just as much as USC has this cycle. They have 10 transfer pickups, just three less than SC, and have the No. 4 overall transfer class in the country which is also just three classes behind SC.
It's similar to how Oklahoma fans were angered by Riley saying that moving forward, there should be more structure surrounding the portal that way programs don't have to use it as much. Everyone said he was being hypocritical since he capitalized this offseason in large part due to the transfer portal.
The reality, of course, is that he had to because everyone else (including Oklahoma) had already started heavily using the portal and Riley had no choice.
He took the job at SC after most high school players already knew where they were signing. His comments had nothing to do with himself or what he did this year.
He even said that he doesn't plan on using the portal as heavily in the future. His comments were simply saying that there should be a bit more structure to prevent the portal getting out of hand, such as how there are players who have been entering seven or eight times with no additional penalties than someone who has entered just a couple of times.
It goes to show that everyone is just going to whine at everything Riley ever says. Eventually, these people just need to get over the fact that Riley saw a job opportunity that was an upgrade over his current job, and chose to take it.
Literally all of us would do the same in our careers. That's how it works. I'm glad Riley put these ridiculous claims to rest about him 'taking Oklahoma players,' as it's just another delusional take that people are trying to spin on Riley because they can't take the fact that he's not their coach.