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Pearl rips NIL use in portal, will fire staff who try to poach players

Bruce Pearl and the Auburn Tigers have turned their focus to the offseason following a first-round upset defeat to Yale.

But, instead of the normal making the rounds to high schools and AAU tournaments, Pearl and his staff are facing competition from NIL deals and transfer portals.

Bruce Pearl weighed in on the controversial practice with a strong statement, saying his team is not going to operate that way and any staff member who tries to would be fired.

“We’re not in control of everything. The combination of NIL and the transfer portal and automatic eligibility right away, that’s just uncharted waters for all of us,” Pearl said.

“An NIL agent could literally call anybody on my roster and offer them some sort of NIL somewhere else, and it’s no longer tampering. I can tell you, we’re not going to do that. Just because it’s legal, I promise you we’re not doing that. And I’ll fire a guy that tries to do it. That’s just not what we believe in. And we don’t have to. You don’t have to do it that way.”

Pearl has gotten a ton of production in the last two years from the transfer portal, bringing in Johni Broome from Morehead State in 2022 before taking Denver Jones from FIU and Chaney Johnson from University of Alabama in Huntsville this season.

But according to Pearl, Auburn is doing things how they are supposed to be done in the portal and not calling players from other schools and trying to lure them to Auburn with big NIL deals.

As college basketball continue to figure itself out, Pearl is not going to change the way he operates when it comes to building his roster.

Michael Brauner is a Senior Sports Analyst and Contributing Writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @MBraunerWNSP

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