Colorado coach Deion Sanders doesn’t seem fazed by criticism from Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi of managing Sanders’ roster earlier this spring.
“He’s not mad at me, he’s using me to shoot another coach he has a problem with,” Sanders told 247Sports. “I don’t know who he is; if he got in here now, I wouldn’t know him.”
More than 40 Colorado players have left the program after the Buffaloes spring break game and 51 players have entered the scholarship gate since Sanders took over on Dec. 3. About 70 players in total entered the gate. Sanders and his staff used a recent change to the NCAA rules for first-year coaches to cut out the vast majority of players who came into the gate after the spring.
Former Colorado offensive lineman Travis Gray, who was cut this spring, recounted how the conversation with offensive line coach Bill O’Boyle took place after the spring game.
“Hi, my friend, you are going to be circumcised today. I’m sorry to tell you this. I didn’t want you to hear it from Coach Prime. I wanted you to hear it from my mouth. I didn’t want to cut you down, but we had to cut down five guys chasing forward, and I was the last one,” Gray O. Boyle recounted. Gray, whose father was on the 1990 Colorado Nationals, committed to New Mexico in May.
Players are allowed to keep their scholarship if they choose to remain in Colorado, but they cannot participate in football activities. Then their studies do not count against the 85-man limit. Colorado athletics director Rick George told ESPN this spring that Colorado is honoring full scholarships to four players who will not participate in any soccer activities but plan to remain in Colorado.
Narduzzi ruled out the practice in an interview with 247Sports At the ACC Spring Meetings last month.
“It’s not the way it’s supposed to be,” Narduzzi said. “That’s not what I meant by rule. It wasn’t to fix your roster. We’ll see how that goes, but it looks bad to me on college football coaches all over the country. The reflection is on one person now but when you look at it in general – these kids who They have mothers and fathers and brothers and sisters and goals in life — I don’t know how many of those 70 that remain really want to leave or they’ve been kicked in the ass to get out.”
Narduzzi has also been a vocal critic of USC head coach Lincoln Riley. Narduzzi has accused Riley of tampering with 2021 Biletnikoff Award winner Jordan Addison, who moved to the Trojans last May and caught 59 passes for 875 yards and eight touchdowns before being selected 23rd overall by the Minnesota Vikings in this year’s NFL Draft. .
“What was his situation like when he came to Pete? He had a different situation than me. He’s not mad at me, he’s mad about the situation in football now that he let his best player go a year ago,” Sanders said.
Are there more fireworks at Colorado-Bet?
Don’t expect this feud – if you can call it that – to come to a head on the recruiting track or in the field anytime soon. Narduzzi and Sanders do not recruit many, if any, of the same players at opposite ends of the country, and the ACC and Pac-12 programs have no plans to face each other on the field at any point in the future.
They had to meet in a bowl game, and the Vegas odds makers set the over/under limit for Colorado’s win total this season at 3.5. Maybe next year, unless Colorado finds a glass slipper in the Flatirons.
(Photo: Ron Chinoy/USA Today)
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