Oklahoma Sooners, Lincoln Riley holding up QB Chandler Morris' transfer to TCU

Lincoln Riley confirmed Wednesday that Oklahoma has not released quarterback Chandler Morris, who has transferred to TCU, saying he and OU are opposed to transfers within the conference becoming eligible immediately.

TCU coach Gary Patterson told local reporters Monday that Morris was competing with returning starter Max Duggan, but that "he still hasn't been released by Oklahoma."

Said Riley during a Zoom meeting with reporters: "This particular situation, for us, is about something that we believe in -- myself, the leadership here at OU -- we think it's unhealthy for college football to encourage intraconference transfers. That's something that we've been adamantly opposed to for a long time. I get the landscape is changing. We're certainly watching that and we're will adapt as the world changes, but this has nothing to do with that or with the person. Chandler Morris did a tremendous job here; he's a terrific young man."

Riley mentioned that another player transferred to a Pac-12 school (Brendan Radley-Hiles to Washington) and he was released. He said he believes overall the changes in players' ability to transfer has been good for players and for college football.

"I think it was a good rule to change, and now players could have the ability and freedom as they should to be able to go to any school they want. But I do think the interconference [transfers] can complicate things. I think that coaches understand the big picture and understand that's going to bring along a lot of negatives that I just don't know that we want in this game."

Riley landed several transfers this offseason, including offensive tackle Wanya Morris and running back Eric Gray from Tennessee, quarterback Micah Bowen from Penn State and another offensive lineman, Robert Congel from Arizona.

A year before Riley arrived as offensive coordinator under Bob Stoops, Baker Mayfield transferred to OU from another Big 12 school, Texas Tech, after beginning his career as a walk-on and spent a year waiting to become eligible.

Riley and Patterson both said the discussion around Morris is ongoing.

"It's a fluid situation right now," Riley said. "Our plan is just to let this play, let some of these rules solidify and we'll be open to watching it and seeing how it unfolds."

While the transfer came as a surprise initially, Riley insisted the holdup wasn't a result of any issue with Morris.

"I hated to see him go. You never want players to leave your program, but I know he's going to a good program there with Coach Patterson and I wish the kid all the best."

Morris attended Dallas' Highland Park High School. He is the son of former SMU and Arkansas head coach Chad Morris, who spent the past two seasons as offensive coordinator at Auburn.