Lincoln Riley Tries To Explain OU’s Initial Block Of Austin Kendall’s Transfer

Lincoln Riley Tries To Explain OU’s Initial Block Of Austin Kendall’s Transfer

ARLINGTON, Texas – While his former Sooner teammates have no problem in facing transfer WVU transfer quarterback Austin Kendall, Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley certainly does.

The Sooner coach, who has benefited from transfers at the position to the tune of the two previous Heisman Trophy winners,  and welcomes a third consecutive transfer this year in former Alabama signalcaller Jalen Hurts, offered a statement that seemed to contradict itself in in its first three sentences.

West Virginia
West Virginia quarterback Austin Kendall

“I was always going to let him go to West Virginia. That was no issue. That’s part of these new rules is we can’t restrict them from going anywhere,” said Riley, apparently not taking into account the initial flap that occurred when he and Oklahoma tried to block Kendall’s transfer to the Mountaineer program. “My contention was I had a concern about a player being able to transfer and be immediately eligible the very next year in our league. I don’t think that’s healthy for the league.”

That may be, but like any other graduate transfer, Kendall was immediately eligible at any other school per NCAA rules, Riley’s personal objections notwithstanding. It also would seem to conflict with the fact that Oklahoma, after experiencing massive negative feedback from both traditional and social media, relented and halted its block. If Riley believed himself to be in the right, why not stick to his initial position?

Riley went on to offer a bit of confusing explanation, claiming that his personal relationship with the Kendalls led to his change of heart.

“In the end, I think my personal relationship with Austin and his family, the fact that he took a chance and came out to Oklahoma when I first got there, the fact that I was kind of with him every step of the way, I think the personal side of it overtook maybe more the business side of it from my head and my views on it haven’t changed. I still don’t really agree with it, but I realize in that moment I wanted to do the best thing for the kid and I couldn’t get past the personal side of it.”

Riley’s views were not reflected by at least one of his players.

“The transfer is the best thing that can happen for a lot of people,” Sooner wideout CeeDee Lamb said. “It can put guys in better situations than they were in already, and get them out of some bad situations. I think the transfer portal is very beneficial for us. Guys get the chance to fulfill their dreams.”

Even with that, Riley doubled down on his initial response to block Kendall’s transfer to West Virginia or another league school.

“I hope it’s something we keep looking at because I think we’ve got to protect our league on that and I think that’s something we’ve got to look out for each other on,” he said.

Judging from Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby’s comments on transfers, it doesn’t sound like there is much momentum for a league rule prohibiting such movement. While Bowlsby advocates having an undergraduate transfer sit out a year (he didn’t express his views specifically on graduate transfers, though he did note that the blocking tactics of college coaches have led to the current state of affairs).

“We wouldn’t be in this situation if we hadn’t had coaches that were saying, ‘Well you can transfer to this institution A, but you can’t go to B or C, and you can’t go to D,’ or they embargo it all together,” Bowlsby said of his thoughts on transfers in general. “So I think it probably was avoidable, but we are where we are now.”

The only difference between Hurts and Kendall is that the former came from another conference, which would seem to conflict with Riley’s statement that “we’ve got to look out for each other,” Somehow, that distinction seems mighty small, and certainly not one that in any way benefits the players. Riley was looking out for Oklahoma, which is understandable, but it’s hard to see how he was looking out for West Virginia in this case.

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    Lincoln Riley Tries To Explain OU’s Initial Block Of Austin Kendall’s Transfer ARLINGTON, Texas — While his former teammates have no problem in facin
    [See the full post at: Lincoln Riley Tries To Explain OU’s Initial Block Of Austin Kendall’s Transfer]


    Translation: Riley wanted to have his cake and eat it too and he only backed off when he was shamed into it by Austin Kendall and public reaction. What’s good for goose is good for the gander.


    He ultimately did the right thing so good for him, but there is a reason it’s hard for him to put a good public relations spin on it, his initial reaction was wrong.


    And of course, no one in the OU media brought it up or commented on it.

    Just thought the whole response was as rambling as anything Les Miles came up with.


    At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul. Lincoln Riley.


    Could Lincoln & OK be developing a case of the TX disease?  You know, the one where you have to have everything your way?

    Frankly, in Lincoln’s answer to the question my BS detector went off more than once.  But my hypocrisy meter is the one that pegged the needle – Hurd grad transfers in to OK from Bama and all is right with the world.  But let Kendall want to grad transfer out to WV and that should be taboo?

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Home forums Lincoln Riley Tries To Explain OU’s Initial Block Of Austin Kendall’s Transfer