Is tampering real in college football?

By Bo Wilson Sports Editor
Posted 4:30PM on Tuesday 26th March 2024 ( 2 months ago )

Since 2021, the transfer portal in college athletics has been a revolving door.

The popularity of the portal has also brought tampering to the forefront of recruiting those players that hit the portal.  

Last May, Florida’s Billy Napier sounded off on tampering in college football. 

“There’s no doubt tampering is real,” he told 

Although NCAA rules prohibit coaches from contacting players before they submit their names into the portal, the system still evokes the Wild West. 

In the same story, Georgia coach Kirby Smart said tampering has been happening for a while—even before the portal was implemented in 2021. 

"It's probably more prevalent because it's much easier to transition from one school to the other," Smart told "But look, if kids are exploring leaving, it's really hard to police."

During his weekly presser on Tuesday, Smart was asked again about how prevalent tampering is in college football. 

“I don't know. I don't have a phone tap on anyone's phone. I don't have a wire. I am not the feds," he said. "It is really almost impossible to navigate, monitor or police. I will be honest: I don't get lost over it because the kids who stay will be the ones we coach. The ones that go will have to provide an opportunity for somebody else. That is the way I look at it."

Smart said his focus continues to be to sell the success and culture of his program to recruits. 

"We try to do the best job we can by being honest with our kids and selling what our program has done in the past," he said. "I tell the story millions of times that everybody's path is different. When you get on your phone hit maps, and put an address in, it shows you six different ways to get there. Everybody's path is different. Quay Walker's was very different from Nakobe Dean's. Each one is self. To each his own."

Georgia defensive back JaCorey Thomas (20) works with coach Kirby Smart during Georgia’s practice session in Athens, Ga., on Tuesday, March 19, 2024. Photo/Tony Walsh/UGAAA

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