Pitt Head Coach Alleges Utah Tampered In Recruitment Of Wide Receiver Signee

Dec 22, 2022, 11:08 AM
Utah Utes Football...
A general view of a helmet worn by the Utah Utes against the Washington Huskies at Husky Stadium on November 28, 2020 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)
(Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Name, Image, and Likeness continues to be a hot topic in college football and how it affects recruiting. Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi recently alleged Utah football most likely tampered with wide receiver recruit Draiden Zipperer in his recruitment, getting him to flip from the Panthers with promises of lucrative NIL.

The story was first reported on Sports Illustrated by Stephen Thompson.

“Shoot, I’ll just say it,” Narduzzi said. “We lost one to Utah that was a good receiver for us and I think [NIL] had something to do with it.”

Interestingly enough, the Panthers appeared to be on the losing end of NIL last season when star wide receiver and Biletnikoff winner Jordan Addison put his name in the NCAA Transfer Portal and ended up with Lincoln Riley and USC. Narduzzi was very forward then as well, about what he thought took place to get Addison to the Trojans.

Conflicting Comments From Narduzzi

Narduzzi’s comments about Utah are interesting simply from the standpoint that the Utes are not exactly known as power players in the Name, Image, and Likeness world. Obviously, that doesn’t mean Narduzzi’s allegations couldn’t be true, but comments earlier in the season from Utah coach Kyle Whittingham paint a very different picture of where the Utes currently sit in the NIL game.

“We are trying, we are trying every day,” Whittingham said in an October interview with DJ & PK. “It’s a topic of conversation in every staff meeting pretty much as far as the kids we are recruiting and who is offering what, and where we are in the situation. We have guys in the department here who are dedicated full-time to getting NIL funds and sources- it ultimately comes down to your donors and boosters stepping up. We can’t- the universities themselves can’t put anything in the pot. That’s against the NCAA specifically, so it’s got to come from outside resources and we’re trying to make strides each day in that regard.”

Utah’s Own Close Call

Utah has had its own close calls with NIL and potentially losing out on players. Mark Harlan sat for an interview with Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde to talk about an interesting situation that took place over the summer with one of their star players and an Alabama NIL Collective.

“I believe so much in it, I believe it’s the right thing,” Harlan said of NIL. “But it’s difficult to not have an enforcement mechanism when we’re running into someone who is clearly utilizing it, in some form or fashion, as an inducement. And we’re not. That’s frustrating.”

Michelle Bodkin is the Utah Utes Insider for KSLsports.com and host of both the Crimson Corner Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and The Saturday Show (Saturday from 10 a.m.–12 p.m.) on The KSL Sports Zone. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram: @BodkinKSLsports


  • Utah Utes Scoreboard

  • Utah Utes Team Leaders

  • Utah Utes Standings

Utah Utes

Michelle Bodkin

Inconsistency On Offense Earns Utah Second-Straight Loss

Inconsistency on offense without their second-leading scorer in Gabe Madsen earned Utah their second straight loss.
1 day ago
Kyle Ireland

Tyler Huntley Helps AFC Take Early Lead Over Fred Warner, NFC At Pro Bowl Games

Former Utah QB Tyler Huntley helped the AFC take an early lead over former BYU LB Fred Warner and the NFC at the Pro Bowl Games.
1 day ago
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Guard Gabe Madsen Out 4-6 Weeks With Lower Leg Injury

Utah basketball announced guard Gabe Madsen is out for the game and likely to miss 4-6 weeks with a lower leg injury.
1 day ago
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Women’s Basketball Players Earning Post-Season Award Buzz

Utah women's basketball is so good in 2023 that two of their players have earned post-season award buzz as the regular season winds down.
1 day ago
Michelle Bodkin

Utah Forward Alissa Pili’s Love Of Sports Started On The Gridiron

Utah women's basketball forward Alissa Pili's love of sports started out on the gridiron before it made its way to the basketball court.
1 day ago
Lynne Roberts - Utah Utes...
Michelle Bodkin

Lynne Roberts: My Job Is To Graduate Confident, Empowered Women

Utah women's basketball coach Lynne Roberts is proud her main job is to build confident, empowered women to be some of our next leaders.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.
KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.
Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...
KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.
ksl sports logos...
KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.
Iron Maiden tour...
KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Iron Maiden

Iron Maiden returns to Utah in 2022 with The Legacy of the Beast tour.
Pitt Head Coach Alleges Utah Tampered In Recruitment Of Wide Receiver Signee