“Once we see you’re in the portal, you can be cut.”

In case you were wondering, there are a lot of coaches who really, really don’t care for the transfer portal.  Like this guy:

Kirby Smart is torn. Georgia’s coach believes players deserve a certain amount of transfer freedom. Excuse him, though, if he’s not exactly celebrating the seven-month anniversary of the transfer portal this week.

“My biggest problem with the portal is that it gives kids an easy way out,” Smart said. “I know the devil’s advocate of players’ rights and they should be able to go wherever they want to go. But I’m telling you, no normal parent would say, ‘At the first sign of trouble, I want my son to run.'”

I really love this “easy way out”, quitter bullshit.  The reason the portal is a reality isn’t because, as Smart intimates, some kids are too soft.  It’s because there have been plenty of Smart’s peers over the years who have been unreasonable in their restrictions on where and how kids have tried to transfer from their programs.

Add to that a heavy dose of hypocrisy…

It’s difficult to have sympathy for coaches when their biggest headache is “roster management.”

But there is also that ethical, psychological, loyalty component to it: Be a man. Finish what you started.

Coaches preach it until they don’t and leave for the next best job overnight. A bit of hypocrisy at work there?

As for loyalty, you won’t find the following phrase written in large type on the portal: A school doesn’t have to renew the scholarship of any player who places his name in the portal.

I got news for you, Dennis.  A school doesn’t have to renew the scholarship of any player who doesn’t have a multi-year commitment, portal or no portal.

Smart, Georgia coach: “[The transfer issue is], ‘Where are you going to go to get developed the best?’ But that’s not the society we live in. We live in the, ‘Me, now, I want mine now. I want to go play right now.'”

Man, losing control really sucks.


UPDATE:  One further thought from Dodd’s piece that some might be overlooking…

Clay Helton, USC coach: “I’m hoping kids get educated on it. With it being new this year, I think it went over the top. … I’ve got to figure there will be a lot of people without homes.”

Although unofficial, that 247Sports transfer portal list shows approximately 400 of those 720 FBS players have yet to find a new school.

Herm Edwards, Arizona State coach: “It’s caught a lot of kids by surprise in the fact that a lot of guys don’t have scholarships. There’s a little bit now, ‘Whoa, what just happened?’ I think they assumed their name is in the portal, ‘I’ll get a scholarship somewhere else.’ The unintended consequence has hit them in the face.”

There’s a distinct possibility that some of this might be self-correcting, as it begins to sink in with kids pondering a portal decision that they might not be in as much demand as they think they are.

Of course, I pose that realizing that every year there seem to be more college juniors who think they’re destined for an NFL roster than it turns out.


Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

48 responses to ““Once we see you’re in the portal, you can be cut.”

  1. I don’t blame the players for wanting out for playing time or for whatever reason.

    I don’t blame the coaches for bemoaning their loss of some level of control.

    I blame the NCAA for making these kids hire a $400 per hour lawyer to get immediate eligibility.

    Reform the transfer rules now.


    • Russ

      Exactly. The kids should absolutely have the ability to move when they want to, and not need a lawyer to play. But Kirby’s not wrong about finishing what you started. Like anything, the portal can be misused if someone gets peeved and wants to jump ship at the first sign of adversity. I don’t know how many of the kids fall into that category, but given there are hundreds in there, I have to assume some are just because they couldn’t beat out the kid in front of them right away.

      And of course the coaches pick up and move willy-nilly, and their comments are also self-serving. I still would want my kid to stick it out if possible. We’ve seen lots of kids blossom after 2-3 years in a system. Moving around (at least to me) seems to make that harder.


    • ATL Dawg

      So you blame the schools, right? The NCAA is the schools, which includes dear old UGA. The NCAA isn’t some independent, 3rd party bogeyman.

      I have no problem blaming the schools. I blame them too. They’re at fault for most of this nonsense.

      But I do still blame the coaches for being hypocritical, spoiled babies.


      • The staff at the NCAA could be reasonable with legitimate hardship requests … and, yes, I realize the schools make the rules.

        I like to see the coaches complain about this stuff to show what a bunch of control freaks they are,’but they would do better to propose sensible reform for the S-A’s benefit while protecting the school’s interests.



    Senator you hit the nail on the head with the me now statement. What ever happened to the work for it attitude?


  3. jhorne2000

    Once again you are going for the low hanging fruit of equating player transfers to coaches changing jobs in order to cry hypocrisy.


  4. stoopnagle

    Newsflash to all curmudgeons out there: we have always lived in a “me first” “give it to me now” society. Remember the 1980s? The “Me Decade”? And there are just as many – if not more! – people out there who are persistent, patient, and consistent in the pursuit of their goals. I work with 18-22 year olds too and I meet them every damn day. So spare me the collapse of society story every generation moans about since the beginning of time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Rocketdawg

    He’s not wrong. These kids have been told they are the “next big thing” since they were 8 years old and people realized they were gifted as athletes. A majority of them get to college on pure athleticism and minimal work. They then go through a process where every coach in America kisses their ass trying to get them to come to University X. At the first sign of adversity they want to take their ball and go home.

    I’m for a relaxed set of transfer rules under special circumstances, but this “I didn’t get ha handed the starting job so I’m going somewhere else” bullshit is for the birds.

    Liked by 2 people

    • At the first sign of adversity they want to take their ball and go home.

      Yeah, Chris Steele. What a candy ass.


      • Rocketdawg

        If you read my reply I said in certain circumstances. Steele would fall under that in this case. Justin Fields however would not. Fields knew what the depth chart was when he committed. I could be wrong, but I would bet Kirby never promised him the starting job. When it wasn’t handed to him he took his ball and went home instead of staying and fighting for the job (i.e. the easy way out).
        (I’m using the Fields case as an example because it happened here. There are plenty more to chose from)


    • Hunkering Hank

      “A majority of them get to college on pure athleticism and minimal work.”



  6. There are legitimate points all the way around. I’ve always thought that true hardship cases should be able to transfer and have immediate eligibility. Where as those that are wanting to transfer for other reasons such as playing time should have to sit out a year until the end of their sophomore year. After their sophomore year than can transfer with immediate eligibility.


    • I get your point, but that’s an almost impossible task you’re putting on the NCAA, to determine “true”.

      That’s why I’d rather see the rule changed to give every kid one bite at the transfer apple, regardless of circumstances.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Rocketdawg

        I’d be ok with one free transfer as long as the player wasn’t in trouble and in good academic standing.

        It’s just my opinion that we as a society are enabling kids to avoid adversity rather than confront it and learn how to problem solve.

        I coach kids from elementary to high school level and the gratification of working with (most) of them is being replaced with exasperation of dealing with parents. Not every kid is going to start or be a superstar or get a scholarship. It’s ok for kids to play sports because they enjoy playing sports. They enjoy being with their friends and being active.


      • Under this policy, is it too far fetched to imagine watching your team, which for example is expecting a good but not great upcoming season, lose several of their star players to the team next door that has a better shot at the title and TV exposure?


        • So, you’re an inferior program to a team contending for a title that has room for several star players? Got any real world examples of that?


          • Not sure I follow you. The Bama’s of the real world will cut some asses loose in a heartbeat to take on a few more proven studs. Image if Nick and Sony had decided to go there for their last year. Saban would not have found room?


            • Bama’s 2017 depth chart at running back:

              Starting running back: Damien Harris/Bo Scarbrough
              Backup: Josh Jacobs/Najee Harris

              Forget about Saban. Why the fuck would Nick or Sony have wanted to transfer there?


              • Reason? UGA was coming off a pretty shitty season and was expected to be good, not great. Athlon had Bama at #1 and UGA at #15 preseason. Nick and Sony were better than the guys at Bama.


                • Nick and Sony were better than the guys at Bama.

                  Not based on the 2016 ypr figures.


                • Ok, my bad. Chubb sucked and no way Saban would have found room for him when he had future “two-times been cut by the NFL”, Bo Scarborough on the roster. I guess Nick hit his stride when it counted up in Cleveland, because non of us thought he was like a Heisman candidate at any time in his career or anything. Anyway, Sony was #1 on that stat list you referenced for 2017, so I guess he WAS better after all. LMFAO.


                • Nick’s a pretty good coach. Too bad he couldn’t access your awesome powers of hindsight then.

                  Maybe the transfer portal will convey those to him now.


                • Your awesome power is the ability to fool yourself into thinking that free agency in college sports will not result in scenarios where the best players flock to the best teams, after they have already proven their play, or untapped potential, on the field elsewhere. This happens in every pro sport right now, and is only limited in part by salary caps, limited team funds, or league rules on where funds can come from that ultimately go to salaries, etc. I don’t think the scholarship limits are going to provide that same type of parity in an open – get one transfer no questions asked – portal. Especially since the guy you have coming in costs the same as the guy you are dumping. I get your stance on player compensation, fair treatment, etc. I agree with a lot of it. I also think this will happen.


                • So, if players act in their best interests, coaches will, too?

                  Shocking, if true.


              • I’m also betting he would have taken Roquan. I’m ok with transfer portal, player compensation, etc., but I do not think you are going to be able to look forward to next years team the way we are able to now. The best players will flock to the best teams so they can get TV exposure and shine on the biggest stages, therefore leading to bigger NFL signing bonuses. Teams already expecting a great year will create room for them.. perhaps filling in the last few needed pieces, or making a major upgrade at a position. Over time, with players moving here and there, the team-fan loyalty we see players like Nick and Sony display will be a thing of the past. Those guys could get left behind due to their loyalty. Maybe I am wrong, but this is how I see it playing out.


                • Trbodawg

                  I can see how that might happen, but if I’m a coach and I think I’ve got a really good team, do I want to mess with that team chemistry by introducing one and dones? High Risk, High Reward, I guess, but I still believe a team is better than a group of all-stars thrown together. See this year’s LA Lakers


  7. 1smartdude

    I think Kirby has been extreamly hypocritical about the whole transfer deal. It’s basically been whatever suited his needs. It’s like that with most coaches. The Maurice Smith case started it. Spare me the graduate transfer BS, Smith transferred for football, just like the rest of them. He followed that by blocking one of his own from transferring to Miami, to follow Richt, kinda like Smith did. He fought to get the SEC rule change and got it, right after the Smith deal. Now that he has a team full of talent that people want, he’s changing his outlook. I’m sorry but I thought the rules were fine the way they were but I think you should be able to transfer where you wish. You should also have to sit out a year. You can go ahead and que the standard “ the coach can leave anytime” argument. He can, the student can. They’ve both always been able to. There were just consequences for both. The coach had a buyout price to pay, the athlete sat a year. We now have a basic free agency in college football. It’ll get worse unless changes are made. The ironic thing is, Saban made that argument in the Smith case.


    • Rocketdawg

      Mo Smith completed his degree. That is a huge difference. As far as I am concerned if a player graduates before his eligibility is up he has fulfilled his obligation to the university and can transfer without penalty.

      If Fields had stayed at UGA, graduated in three years (with a redshirt year) and then transferred to another school I would have zero problem with it. In that scenario if you can’t win the job in 3 years then you probably aren’t going to win it while the athlete has obtained his degree.

      Thinking out loud, maybe the one time free transfer kicks in after the third year (so Juniors or RSoph), if you haven’t cracked the 2 deep by then you probably aren’t going to do so.

      My issue are the freshmen or early enrollees who hit the portal because they aren’t the starter at State U after 15 spring practices.


  8. CVegas Dawg

    Coaches should have to enter a transfer portal…


  9. FlyingPeakDawg

    Have a cut-off date for entering the portal each year (if there isn’t one already). Then hold a draft with schools tiered by conference finish, lower tiers drafting first. Hold a lottery for the first pick. Throw a big event in Indy and televise it on ESPN over 3 days (Father’s Day weekend sounds right). Have lots of celebs show up to announce picks. Make it eligible for gambling online. Everyone make lots of $$$$. Fun times.


    • FlyingPeakDawg

      Everyone make money but the kids of course. Can’t have that happen with all the pay they’ll get being drafted first by Kansas.


  10. DawgPhan

    I suspect that we will see more coaches keep scholarship open knowing that they can continue to recruit from the portal. Especially mid tier schools.

    Central Michigan can sign a 2 star high school kid or maybe get a bama cast off.

    Coaches will figure out how to game the portal because it they get to iterate over it some many times each year.


    • AlphaDawg

      This was my initial thought as well. I can see an enterprising Mid Major, DIV II and III or JUCO coach using this to field some talented teams in the next year or so.


  11. Perdro

    The bottom line is that fairness will not be achieved until these legal adults are treated like financially productive members of a lucrative money making organization. 100 years ago when the economics of sports, personal images, and college education was different there may have been arguable fairness. Now that is not the case.


  12. Bulldog Joe

    Like declaring early for the NFL draft, there is risk in deciding to enter transfer portal. It may take a couple years for enough cases to make Kirby’s point clear.

    Meanwhile, the transfer portal puts even greater importance to effective roster management. Georgia is much better equipped to take advantage of it than it was five years ago.


  13. Charlottedawg

    The same coaches who complain about their players looking to leave via the portal wouldn’t think twice about poaching some other team’s player via the same portal if they felt they could upgrade their roster. I’m sure Kirby had a long heart to heart with Maurice Smith about finishing what he started at Alabama instead of transferring to Georgia. Ditto Lincoln Riley bitching about transfers when his LAST 3 STARTING QBs were all transfers.

    It all boils down to people (just so we’re clear, by people i mean people like the coaches not the players) who want to live by the mantra of fine for me but not for thee and whatever is most convenient for me at the time. All while hypocritically bemoaning the rise of a me first culture. Also, free life lesson, the folks who complain about a lack of integrity and the rise of entitlement, me first culture, etc are almost always the most selfish, entitled, hypocritical, little pricks with the largest delusions of self granduer you’ll meet. #endrant.


  14. 69Dawg

    Just a question. If the school has a LOI that has multiple years scholarship can the coach pull it if the player enters the portal but does not transfer?


  15. Normaltown Mike

    My wife would like to put me in the transfer portal but nobody’d claim me.


    • Got Cowdog

      There’s a pretty good “not enough playing time” joke in there, but if the missus looks over my shoulder my playing time will be reduced to zero, and I’ll have to ask for a waiver….


  16. Macallanlover

    I feel any coach should use the scholly available when a player enters the portal if he feels he can upgrade with another available player, or feels the player who opted to leave wasn’t going to be able to help the team enough to justify maintaining it for him should he want to return. I also feel schools should have to honor a full scholarship for 4 years if the athlete stays in good standing or doesn’t get removed from school for disciplinary reasons.

    Why should the coach have to hold a spot while someone tests the water with no risk? (Same for politicians who choose to run for another office, let them resign their position to pursue another office, and not work for months, years with no risk. They were elected, and are paid, to do a specific job; do it.. If they want something else, resign and go for it, but no guaranteed “crawl back” option.)