The college football regular season has officially come to an end (unfortunately). With this, players have the opportunity to evaluate their time spent playing — or lack thereof — on their respective teams. They make a decision to spend another year at their school or to enter the transfer portal and switch schools. Now, more than ever, players are transferring, which begs the question: should there be more restrictions placed on the portal?
This topic tends to be very controversial. On one hand, some people believe that players should have the opportunity to easily transfer schools in order to find the best fit for them. On the other hand, it can be said that athletes should have to stick it out for more than a year and face negative consequences should they choose to change schools.
Personally, my thought process aligns with the former. If a player isn’t going to get playing time, it isn’t the right fit academically or they simply don’t feel comfortable at a certain school, I believe that they should be able to transfer without having to forfeit a year of eligibility, which is now the case following the pandemic and NCAA rule changes.
However, it definitely isn’t as simple as it may seem. While a lot of players are benefitting from transferring, it hurts others in the transfer portal, as well as high school athletes trying to be recruited. Texas State did not sign a high school player in its 15-man 2021 signing class, instead choosing to add transfers — and this is just one small example.
Teams only have an allotted amount of scholarships to offer each year, 25 to be exact. This can leave many players in the portal without a spot on a team. Although, it must be kept in mind that there had to be a reason that these players weren’t playing, right? Obviously there are exceptions with the likes of Joe Burrow and Justin Fields, but for the majority of these transfers, there were simply players that were better than them.
Additionally, once recruiting violations are thrown in, all bets are off. Coaches always can find a spot on their team for a player, now that athletes don’t have to sit out for a year following a transfer. There just seems to be a lack of trust between players and coaches. An athlete can never truly guarantee his spot on the team unless he is a star, and a coach knows that there is always a better situation out there (unless you’re Nick Saban).
Oh, and I almost forgot, NIL complicates things just a little bit. Quinn Ewers is the prime example of this. A chance to make a nice check at one of the biggest programs in the country? Who wouldn’t take this? However, following zero playing time, he opted to transfer to Texas. The new transfer rule made it so easy for Ewers to profit off of himself, while still getting the opportunity to play elsewhere with no penalty.
So, what is the bottom line I am trying to get at? There needs to be reallocations for scholarships in order for more athletes to find the school that fits them best. However, a line has to be drawn to ensure that the biggest schools aren't the only ones snatching all of the best players. The transfer portal has turned into a free agency frenzy, and while I appreciate the fact that athletes can change schools, there has got to be some changes on the process.
Do you think there needs to be changes to the transfer portal?
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