Transfer portal blues

If you’re looking for a handy guide to who’s in there, here’s a link for that.

The portal isn’t what’s causing the Fran Frascilla’s of the world to hyperventilate, though.  All the portal does is let a player put his name out in a convenient database.  What’s really stirring the pot is how the NCAA has relaxed its transfer waiver policy.

“The membership wanted to put immediate eligibility back on the table,” said Dave Schnase, the NCAA vice president of academic and membership affairs. “And so whether that resulted in a high approval rate, I don’t think membership knew. They just wanted to put that back on the table. And then the circumstances of each individual case would essentially dictate the approval rate.”

Immediate eligibility for all transfers was considered, but ultimately not included in the NCAA’s well-publicized reformation last year. New rules no longer require athletes to request permission from a school to transfer, just provide notification. Then the athlete’s name is entered into an NCAA-run database, the so-called transfer portal that notifies other schools the athlete can be recruited.

The new legislation, however, did not change the waiver guidelines. That modification was approved by the NCAA Division I Council in April , with few outside the process noticing.

Before the change, immediate eligibility for an undergraduate transfer could be granted only when a school could show extremely egregious behavior by the previous school. Otherwise, the most NCAA officials could grant was an additional year of eligibility, tacked on at the end of a college career.

A request for immediate eligibility can now be granted if the transfer was due to “documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete.”

There is a lot of wiggle room in there for discussion.

Based on the early data, that’s an understatement.

Since last year’s change, NCAA data for Division I shows:

— 63 football players requested waivers and 50 were approved (79 percent).

— 55 men’s basketball players requested waivers and 33 were approved (60 percent).

— 39 women’s basketball players requested waivers and 30 were approved (77 percent).

I’ll say it again:  keep an eye on Tate Martell’s waiver request.  If it’s granted based on nothing more than a coaching change at his old school, that’s going to lead to a real sea change in college athletics.  And, as I also said, that’s kind of fair.

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57 Comments

Filed under The NCAA, Transfers Are For Coaches.

57 responses to “Transfer portal blues

  1. gastr1

    I don’t know how to think about it. On one hand, I agree that players should be treated as fairly as possible, and it seems there’s no real argument against letting them transfer immediately. On the other hand, something about players (and coaches) shifting around so quickly just bothers me. Maybe it seems even more like the pros, I don’t know. But I also support the players having better situations, and if the coaches can leave their contracts, why in the world couldn’t the players?

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    • I agree with you. Purely open transfers for student athletes is a slippery slope to no where good.

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      • Biggen

        This. How can you expect to build a team with players transferring in and out on a yearly basis??

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        • But you guys keep telling me it’s what’s on the front of the jersey that matters. 😉

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          • Right, but I think that’s my fear. An unrestricted transfer system makes it less about the team and more about the individual. Kinda hard to establish a strong sense of team unity/cohesion when every highly rated croot is demanding PT. And threatening to transfer otherwise.

            But still, I agree with OP. Torn on the issue because I want what’s best for the individuals but I fear that it could do significant damage CFB as a whole.

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    • Biggus Rickus

      Coaches have always shifted around. The reason players didn’t is because they were actual students participating in an extracurricular activity once upon a time (for the most part). The problem with the current system is that it was designed for circumstances that no longer exist and probably haven’t for 50 years.

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      • Gaskilldawg

        Players did transfer in the past. You may not have heard of former Georgia great A. B. “Bum” Day. Interesting story. We wanted to enroll at UGA and play football, but UGA did not have a football team in 1980 because of World War One. Tech did have a team (you may recall the famous “UGA in France 1918, Tech in Atlanta 1918” homecoming float).

        Day was GREAT for Tech in 1918, so good he made All-American. When he found that UGA was renewing its football team in 1919 he transferred to UGA and played 1919, 1920 and 1921 at UGA. He did not have to sit out.
        Tech elected him to its Football Hall of Fame despite leaving it and playing 3 years at UGA!

        Anyway, UGA did not insist that it was somehow contrary to team unity or academic progress or whatever for him to sit out the year after he played at Tech.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. To me Tate Martell’s is for less revealing than Field’s leaving simply because he didn’t get to start his freshman year. At least Martel could possibly have a hardship with a head coaching change. Fireld’s had nothing but childish ways to lean on.

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    • I suspect your feelings might change if Martell left UGA and Fields were coming to Athens from Columbus.

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      • It has nothing to do with feelings just the fact that Martell has at least one possibly legitimate reason. Field’s had none.

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        • Why is it unreasonable for Fields to have expected to start? After all, a true freshman had started for Georgia the prior two seasons. And it looks like if his waiver is granted, he’ll be starting this fall.

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        • ASEF

          He had something that met the NCAA’s criteria, which is an issue for the NCAA’s criteria. He was a bad fit for Chaney’s offense apparently.

          The idea he would voluntarily sit out a year when one of the 3 hottest college offensive coaches says, “Come on down, you can start Day 1,” is insane.

          Look on the bright side. If Fields sucks and pouts his way through the 2019 season, Day looks like an idiot and Ohio State is in a world of hurt.

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          • Tony Barnfart

            I think it’s unfair that Fields has to even deal with the nuisance that is college production with the world so eager for him to be the next NFL superstar. Can’t he just sue for immediate NFL entry and a max contract on the grounds that he’s the best thing Rivals has seen since sliced bread.

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            • ASEF

              Think about this from Day’s perspective. He starts as HC in one of the top 5 jobs in CFB, and he immediately puts all of his eggs in the Fields basket. Sends Martell packing, as well as a 4 star dual threat in their incoming class. Fields is basically all he’s got for the next 2 years. Fields the only player on the Ohio State roster who has attempted a forward pass in college.

              That’s a massive gamble by both parties, isn’t it? It feels like someone trying to draw to an inside straight.

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              • Faulkner

                So Martell has been in the program for 2 years and they run him off for Fields who has very little experience and none at OSU? Not sure that computes unless he was as much of a douche on campus as he was in that QB1 show. Big gamble by the buck nuts.

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  3. Spur 21

    Wake me up when all this shit is over……………………..

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  4. 1smartdude

    Free agency basically.

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  5. Bright Idea

    Free agency is here whether we like it or not. Playing time will be the main reason regardless of coaching transition. Tampering will no doubt be a consequence. As fans, we’ll have to get used to it or walk with our wallets. When the rosters become revolving doors I can see more people watching on TV than spending the money as their emotional investment may wane.

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    • The Dawg abides

      Playing time will be number one, but right behind that will be players upgrading their situation. Overlooked players who ball out at group of 5 schools, FCS schools, even schools like Kansas, will become the hottest of the free agents. I hope Kirby is already working on setting up Georgia Southern, Georgia State, Kennesaw State and the like as our feeder programs.

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  6. ASEF

    I think there is an implicit understanding that the NCAA will sign off on just about anything of the two schools are both in agreement. Patterson to Michigan didn’t happen until Ole Miss removed its objections.

    That said, the NCAA isn’t going to rubber stamp a move that is widely seen as a game changing precedent unless they want a game changing precedent. I would bet Tate’s lawyer ups the ante.

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    • W Cobb Dawg

      What caught my attention was the 21% of football transfers that didn’t get approved – and I question why they didn’t get approved. Does the ncaa want to be in the middle picking winners and losers in the ‘transfer war’.

      I’d rather have a hard policy everyone easily understands. The alternative is an army of Thomas Mars lawyers beating on the door all day, every day wanting to discuss a long list of each player’s grievances.

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  7. Bill Glennon

    Free agency will benefit the small schools to the detriment of the larger, more established programs. It will create more parity, just like it has in the NFL, except that in the NFL the teams get the player for 4 years, not one.

    That will be bad for UGA.

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    • Think it’s more complicated than that. Really stellar players, like Hurts, aren’t going to go slumming unless they have no choice and that’s unlikely.

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    • Go Dawgs!

      Also, if you think that Kirby and Co. aren’t going to be scanning box scores from Furman or Citadel or any other small school and happily accepting transfers who were too far under the radar in high school but blossomed into legitimate stars in college, you’re crazy. For every player Georgia loses, we’ll gain one. The power programs will remain the power programs.

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      • Russ

        I know of a receiver from UMass that we could have used.

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        • I don’t remember what Isabella did before Kirby sat the starters, but he made his hay against our 2nd, 3rd and 4th team in the 2nd half. He had 8 catches for 57 in the first half. It was 59-13 when he caught the double pass. After the double pass, I thought Kirby should have poured it on and hung 80 them.

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      • Bill Glennon

        If we’re signing diamonds in the rough transfers from Citadel and Furman while watching 4 and 5 stars transfer out, then you are making my point for me.

        Hope “fairness” warms your heart. Back to the Georgia Way.

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        • Tony Barnfart

          Mehhh hold up for a second. I’m as big of a believer in the Jimmy’s and Joes as anyone, but getting a transfer superstar from a lesser program is not what I would call “diamond in the rough” since your comparison is naturally from their time as a recruit.

          People physically and mentally mature in different stages…….JR Reed was a 2 star recruit with about 3 or 5 G5 offers out of high school. Getting a budding talent transfer from undergrad is probably a more productive route than a JC player.

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  8. paul

    I think it’s fair, generally speaking. But I wonder, if the NCAA is going to allow transfer for pretty much any reason, should they perhaps put a cap on how many times an athlete can move? That would seem fair as well. If some kid who has already transferred once or twice suddenly has a monster year do we let someone poach him for one season? I think not.

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  9. mp

    Any good TE’s who want to come to Athens? Or DTs?

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  10. Mick Jagger

    Could a player conceivably transfer 4 times ?

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    • The Dawg abides

      Kyle Davis seems to be working toward that.

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    • GruvenDawg

      “documented mitigating circumstances that are outside the student-athlete’s control and directly impact the health, safety and well-being of the student-athlete.”

      If they don’t clarify what their purposefully ambiguous statement means it WILL BE free agency. That Pandora’s box will mean yearly team attrition at every level. A coach will need to re-recruit every position on his team yearly. Forget building depth, competition or waiting your turn (developing) for a chance. Hell, forget roster management on a year to year basis (ie this year I need 1 QB and another one in two years). Some teams that were OK at a scholarship numbers will be decimated (see Penn State with 11 in the portal) and in turn limited on the 25 player signing limit. How do they fill out the rest of their rosters? Transfers…

      This is truly a tide change In college football. The NCAA has no idea the ramifications this will have on the sport long term if they don’t clarify their position.
      This rule in theory should help the teams that are consistently putting players into the NFL. If this rule is in place and applied liberally who is going to want to wait at those schools (Alabama, OSU, LSU, UGA, etc). For the record I am 100% behind grad transfers, head coaching change transfers, and family illness transfers, this I don’t think so. I will hold my judgement until I see how this plays out this year. I have no faith that anyone, including the NCAA has any idea of the possible ramifications if Tate and Justin both gain eligibility this year.

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    • Gaskilldawg

      Barney Poole comes to mind. He lettered at Ole Miss in 1942, then transferred to North Carolina and lettered at UNC in 1943, then went to West Point and lettered for Army in 1944, 1945 and 1946 season, then transferred back to Ole Miss and lettered fro Ole Miss in 1947 and 1948.
      That is three transfers without sitting out a transfer year, and he lettered as a college football season for seven consecutive years!
      The NCAA laxed its eligibility rules during World War Two, but what surprises me is him being able to play 2 years after VJ Day and then 3 years after VJ Day.

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  11. Mayor

    Everybody needs to click on the transfer portal link and look. Some astoundingly good players available. I had no idea there were this many players in CFB who were unhappy where they were.

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  12. Go Dawgs!

    I just feel bad for Jacob Eason. Poor kid let The Georgia Way rub off on him and he just bowed to the NCAA’s rules without question and lost a year waiting out his “residency” at UW. If the NCAA rubber stamps kids like Tate Martell and Justin Fields (whose fear of the supposed harsh racial environment at UGA didn’t extend to his sister, who happily enrolled and remains) then they owe kids like Eason an apology. Eason should have been starting at Washington this season.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Russ

      Even though Browning didn’t have a great year, I don’t think Eason was going to beat him out last year. Better to sit out and have 2 more years at UW. I hope he lights it up out there.

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    • Eason was smart. If there was a reason for a hardship transfer, Eason could have said he wanted to be closer to home. He knew he wasn’t likely to beat out Browning with only a spring in the system. Take a redshirt and he still has 2 years to play 2. If he has a great season in ‘19, he’s still a top pick at QB.

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      • Tony Barnfart

        Plus, if the transfer market completely loosens over the next 18 months, I could easily see them retroactively granting Eason another year of eligibility if he needed 2021 to keep progressing. I know we put him in during garbage time, but he was effectively gone with about 11 minutes left in the 1st Q of Game 1. He took his year-in-absentia like a man and would be asking to actually STAY in school (yay amateurism).

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        • He played in 3 games in 2017. He wouldn’t get a 6th year unless they granted him a 3 year later hardship waiver. No way does the NCAA go back retroactively to grant additional eligibility.

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  13. JoshG

    I think if we start looking for logical consistency from the NCAA, we’re going to he disappointed.

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  14. Macallanlover

    Martell’s rationale isn’t any weaker than Justin Fields’ case, neither liked their chance I hope both are turned down, they both rolled the dice knowing what the rule was going in. Doesn’t mean things won’t get twisted as the NCAA has a way to operate without leadership for many years, but if the membership refused to take up the issue and left the rule in place, it should indicate no change. I admit some of the hardship case exceptions were correctly given waiver status, but that doesn’t justify simply ignoring the policy without some semblance of reason because the media is making them more public. Or the universities are high profile.

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  15. DawgPhan

    Obviously no issue with players being eligible immediately after they transfer.

    Georgia will always be a net winner of transfers unless things get really sideways in athens.

    These transfers will likely also have the added benefit of weeding out the really shitty abusive coaches that are still around. Coaches can’t hold playing time and blocking transfers to keep players quiet about things. This should help promote a healthier college football.

    You dont quit a job, you quit a manager/coach.

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  16. buddyblog

    “Kinda” fair like “social” justice. CFB deserves more than that.
    One solution-
    1. put $ cap on the amount a college can spend on football, like the nfl roster salary cap. A voluntary agreement between members of NCAA.
    2. Stop requiring future nfl players to go thru college to get to the pros. That is surely a violation of individual rights- restraint of trade, etc.
    3. Spread all CFB revenue equally among all NCAA members based on Division of program.
    4. Have a goal of taking the ‘slick” outa college football and get it back to true student athletes.
    Hey, America would probably get another whole professional league out of these actions. Take away the NFL’s throne.

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  17. mg4life0331

    Man you are a strange liberal. You don’t like the changes to the bowl season because of how it will change the game but are ok with free agency. Not that have a particular bone to pick, but I think both radically change the game.

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