Tinkering With the Transfer Portal

The NCAA transfer portal changed the game.

It was the right idea from the NCAA, who rarely gets things right. If coaches could leave for another school at the drop of a hat, why couldn't players? Why did they need permission to transfer? That made zero sense.

The problem is, it's way too popular. Thousands of names enter the portal regularly. And college coaches are now actively recruiting players on other teams to transfer to theirs, even when said players aren't in the portal themselves.

Plus, with the impending NIL situation coming to college athletics, the transfer portal could become a very sticky mess for players, coaches, and schools alike. But too much regulation will do the same.

The purpose of the portal is ideal; it simply needs a couple of adjustments. Some suggestions are...

1) Dead period — Just like high school recruiting, there needs to be a time where athletes can't enter the portal ... about a month or so. Make it to where the players take serious time in assessing their situations. Plus, with NIL, they need to know what obstacles they can face when transferring to another school; and that likely will take time. A dead period, where coaches can't make contact, would serve them well here.

2) Seven-day waiting period — Once a player hits the portal, they can't make a commitment or sign with any school for a week. Many have their minds made up when they hit the portal, because they've been talking to other coaches. This needs to be done so that the next two changes can be enforced.

3) Absolutely no contact from coaches with any player not in the portal — If they're caught on their phone records with a text or call, the program loses their rights to acquire transfers for a year. If a coach is caught using a burner phone, make it two years. The NCAA gets to have the power to make surprise audits to check phone records, and if someone accuses a school or coach of wrongdoing, the search is quick and the punishment is already on the table if found guilty. No long, drawn-out process.

4) Absolutely no contact from players to any coach without being in the portal — Players don't get that right as well. If they wish to transfer, they need to enter the portal and then take calls from coaches and make visits, spending no less than a week being courted. Players who break the rules lose their chance to transfer, or if they already have, get suspended immediately for half their respective seasons. Make the punishment tough enough to prevent too many players from being tempted.

If these aren't put into place, the transfer portal will become more chaotic than ever. It will become a feeding frenzy, and with NIL, could include agents that could make the process into a madhouse of corruption. The NCAA needs to be proactive in this situation and put limits in that keep things from going haywire.

Keep the portal, NCAA. Just fix the cracks in the foundation.

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