Lincoln Riley’s departure from Oklahoma shocked many but this seemed to have been building for some time.
Less than 24 hours after the Sooners’ 37-33 loss to Oklahoma State, Riley informed the team that he was leaving the program to become the next head coach at the University of Southern California. Players were summoned to a meeting where Riley officially informed the team of his intentions, and former Sooners coach Bob Stoops was introduced as the interim coach.
An anonymous Oklahoma Sooners football player told The Athletic that tensions are high within the program right now.
“I kept waiting for him to say, ‘Just kidding,’” one staffer said. “And he never did.”
After his announcement, a report detailed the reason why Riley wanted out of Oklahoma.
George Wrighster III of FOX Sports Radio reported that he ‘heard multiple times’ that Riley was not a fan of Sooners decision to join the SEC and is the reason he is leaving Oklahoma for USC.
College football insider Chris Vannini stated the same thing.
“Multiple coaches have said to me that Oklahoma becomes a much harder job in the SEC and they thought Riley would be wise to look elsewhere, whether that was LSU or USC,” he tweeted: