The portal is the winter of their discontent.

David Ubben ($$) has a good piece up about how the repercussions of transfer portal fever is making life a lot more difficult for coaches (well, at least those not named Nick Saban).  Most of the frustration is centered around charting a course between this rock…

One suggestion the committee pitched to calm some of the transfer chaos: Giving players a two-month window after the regular season and after the spring semester to enter the portal, which would better allow coaches to project their numbers and fill them through recruiting or backfilling in the portal. In the sport’s current state, an entire position group could depart for any reason and leave a gaping hole in any roster.

Another possible solution: Keeping the scholarship count at 85 but requiring two-thirds of those scholarships be players the program signed out of high school.

“Those sound great, but what the NCAA is concerned about more than anything else is they don’t want to restrict players’ ability to do anything because of the Supreme Court decision,” a Group of 5 assistant said.

One Power 5 assistant said he hoped the sport would have some kind of collective bargaining agreement in the future.

“If we’re going to be like the pros, we’ve gotta have something in there that’s beneficial on both sides,” he said.

… and this hard place.

“The level of discontent among the athletes in college football is at an all-time high,” a veteran Power 5 assistant said. “We gotta kind of coddle them, baby them. I’m just telling you. We try not to, but man (pause), it’s terrible, actually. You try to keep kids happy, but you can’t. There’s 22 starters, but there’s 80 guys on your team who aren’t starting, and even the guys who are starting aren’t getting enough sacks or catches or carries and they’re unhappy.”

We’re in the early innings of a game where there’s been a tectonic shift in leverage.  If you’re a coach who’s never suffered the repercussions of being a control freak before, of course you’re going to be frustrated as shit watching players who formerly had little choice but to stick it out with you now waive bye-bye for greener pastures at the seeming drop of a helmet.

The key word there being “early”.  Coaches will start figuring out — or, in some cases, already have figured out — a better way to keep their talent in the fold.  Players will begin to realize those greener pastures aren’t always greener when they show up.

“I trust that there’s a lot of smart people working toward the same thing. Just like anything else, in two to three years it’ll level out,” a Group of 5 assistant said. “And the player who is an average Group of 5 player will no longer be getting in the portal and hoping for a Power 5 offer.”

It’s just that the ride is likely to be bumpy for some for a while.  Buckle up.

89 Comments

Filed under Transfers Are For Coaches.

89 responses to “The portal is the winter of their discontent.

  1. Granthams Replacement

    My suggestion – open the portal from December 1 to January 15th (or whatever day the nfl draft deadline falls on in January). All other dates are subject to a 1 season waiting period. By closing the portal in January, high school players and coaches can make an educated decision on a path forward. For other sports adjust the dates accordingly to align with the season and draft if applicable. This allows each kid a window to transfer, coaches to adjust to gains/losses before signing day and high school kids a clear vision of prospective schools rosters.

    The current system of a free for all until May 1 is ridiculous.

    Liked by 6 people

    • kevinsauer

      Portal Period is such a simple and easy solution. What am I missing as to why this isn’t already the solution?

      Liked by 5 people

      • Because the NCAA is scared to death of being sued over it.

        Liked by 6 people

        • gastr1

          Right, just as the quote says.
          A classic case of the genie getting out of the bottle being difficult to put back in…and the Senator’s calling out the dipshittery & denial of Emmert/NCAA in advance of it is just all too prophetic.

          Liked by 2 people

        • miltondawg

          I know that the NCAA is afraid of getting sued and any decision further eroding its already significantly eroded power. I think a two transfer portal period, to some extent, solves that problem. Players can leave between the end of the regular season and the February national signing day. They can leave again for a 30, 45, or 60 day period after spring practice (starting May 1, for example) after seeing how their standing is against all those incoming freshman and early period portal transfers plus how they fit in with new coaches and schemes.

          One of the problems the NCAA faces in antitrust litigation is having rules that don’t balance the interests of players and member institutions. I could go into a long discussion of why a court-centered approach to antitrust litigation is problematic (judges not being “experts” in areas where they make decisions, judges essentially making economic policy, etc.), but one can make a pretty good argument that rules preventing a nearly free-for-all system for the transfer portal that exists now while still allowing athletes two unrestricted periods in which to enter the portal to balance out the institutions’ interests in having some stability, ability to put together rosters, recruit players from the portal, and continue to recruit players from high school in areas of need balances the interests of both the players and the member institutions without unreasonably restricting the interests of either.

          Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the one free transfer rule. I hate the implementation. I hate the tampering that has to be happening. I hate the bad advice that players are getting. I love the headaches it’s causing these overpaid PE teachers.

    Liked by 5 people

    • stoopnagle

      There was a fairly damning article in The Athletic recently about tampering in CBB. One coach doesn’t let his team do the post-game handshake in an effort to limit contacts with other players/coaches for fear of tampering. CFB doesn’t have an AAU problem (yet) to take it to the next level like in hoops.

      Like

    • PTC DAWG

      “Overpaid PE Teachers”…yeah sure, whatever you say.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t fault those guys for getting what they can and whatever the market will bear. I can also say they are overpaid for what they actually do.

        Liked by 2 people

        • PTC DAWG

          Well, for the most part, what they do funds the entire Athletic Department at their respective school.

          Like

          • You don’t think the athletic infrastructure and support on a college campus is bit overdone? I feel the same way about professional athletes and other entertainers. It doesn’t mean I don’t consume their product.

            Liked by 1 person

            • PTC DAWG

              Right now, it’s providing a lot of jobs and scholarships…is it overdone, possibly…like many things in life.

              Like

              • Hmmm … scholarships were provided prior to the construction of massive indoor facilities, weight rooms and $10,000 lockers.

                It’s providing a lot of jobs … to a bunch of people who aren’t really necessary to run a college sports program.

                Like

                • To all of these coaches (both head coaches and assistants) who complain about missing time with their families and the constant grind of the job, the consumer probably would be ok with you having banker’s hours (I don’t mean that as a slam on bankers) if you didn’t make high 6 figures for an assistant to $10m for a head coach.

                  Like

              • Y’all offer great insight but now, after 4 or 5 replies, my phone puts content into a single verticle line of letters—where I stop reading. WordPress should be better. I AM intelligent enough to put the letters into words but I don’t. Real sorry Derek.

                Like

    • ..these overpaid PE teachers

      Thinking this exactly earlier today, and laughing to myself about all the trouble being caused, lol. Thanks for the validation, but please get the hell out of my head, lol.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. uga97

    Coaches can rally the local orgs that back NIL via boosters’ wallets. This should be the emphasis.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. thunderdawg42

    Call me a fatalist, but I don’t know how much longer college football can survive in its current form. High school football numbers are down, concussion tests are on the way, the NCAA is in disarray, and the exorbitant coaching salaries have caught the eye of Sauron (Congress).

    I do not know what form our beloved sport will take in the years to come, but I’m damn glad we won a Title before the sea change.

    Liked by 10 people

    • gastr1

      You could be right, but I think at worst it gets relegated to something like what non P5 football looks like now, and I can probably live with that.

      (Although I have to say… the quality of play in CBB has gotten so bad that I just watch the NBA instead. CBB is borderline offensive.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • 123 Fake St

        NBA is complete trash.

        Liked by 4 people

        • gastr1

          I figured at least one person on this blog would express something like that. Objectively you’re wrong, and likely just don’t like basketball period, but entitled to your opinion nonetheless. Don’t worry, I won’t take any more of the bait.

          Like

          • PTC DAWG

            I thoroughly enjoyed the Hawks playoff run last year…and used to attend a lot of games back in the day in the Omni.

            Liked by 2 people

            • NBA and NFL are sterile and no fun to watch. College football is the best because of emotion and momentum…commercials and too many time outs have ruined pro sports. There is a dwindling amount of what’s great about sport in college football. We should enjoy it while it lasts.

              Liked by 1 person

          • 123 Fake St

            The product is complete trash. I was huge basketball fan up until about 15 years ago. They don’t play defense and everyone is so damn soft in and off the court.

            There was a team that was up 35 points last week and still lost. 🗑🗑🗑🗑🗑

            Like

    • uga97

      So if CFB is doomed, then why did so many schools write 10 year deals for so many coaches over the past few months?

      Like

  5. godawgs1701

    Off-topic, but damn good news: DeAngelo Tyson announced a year or so ago that he was fighting colon cancer and was asking for donations to a Go Fund Me for support. Today, he sent a message to everyone who donated to that effort that he had a CAT scan and is now cancer free. He has some surgeries coming up to remove a port and do other things to end his treatments, and then he’ll be getting back to normal life. It did my heart good to read it this morning.

    Liked by 25 people

  6. David K

    The way to restrict portal movement is through academics. These kids still need to get accepted and have their credits transfer in order to stay on track to graduate. However, the problem is nobody wants to lose players to the portal but everyone wants to accept players so they’ll do everything possible to make that easy.

    Like

    • 123 Fake St

      I’ve noticed that the media no longer mentions the major.
      Dean is the only player whose major I know.
      It’s no longer about academics. Hasn’t been for a long time.

      Like

      • Granthams Replacement

        About academics, notice how very few players go to JUCO for grade issues anymore? Very few players are ruled academically ineligible anymore? Almost all transfers are accepted academically. Funny how times have changed.

        Like

  7. Biggen

    I hate everything about the portal and NIL. All we are doing is paying players now. They go where they get the most money. If they can’t start, then they jump ship to the next school that will pay them the most. What happened to this being about education?

    If the NFL ever removes the rule of having to be two years removed from H.S. to enter the draft, I’m done with CFB. I don’t watch college basketball just because of the “one and done” crap. It’s getting to almost be that way with football now. I can barely remember who is on what team anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    • biggusrickus

      There’s no way to course correct at this point. The fundamental issue is the massive popularity of college football and boosters willing to dump millions upon millions of dollars into it in order to win. No matter what rule changes you try to make, that fundamental issue remains. All you can do is change where the money is funneled. Even if you did something radical like end athletic scholarships and special academic considerations for athletes, schools and boosters who care about football and other sports would game the system.

      Liked by 1 person

    • classiccitycanine

      Sorry that your entertainment was dependent on exploiting the players. BTW the money’s always been there whether you turned a blind eye or not.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Biggen

        Exploiting players. LOL. Payed for school, medical, food, room, travel, stipend, etc… Boy, how did they ever make it before NIL and the portal??

        Like

        • classiccitycanine

          Capping their compensation below the market rate and restricting their move without any bargaining process is exploitive even if they got some nice perks.

          Liked by 6 people

  8. JaxDawg

    So every adult with an influential hand in college football makes it about the money, and it’s the kids that want a cut that draw your ire?

    Liked by 3 people

  9. spur21

    Bottom line – the current system a mess.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. DawgFlan

    Not directly portal related, but you could take that coach quote about discontent and apply it to any group you want at this moment – employees, students, customers, doesn’t really matter. I’ve been in sales and management for close to 20 years and “We gotta kind of coddle them, baby them. I’m just telling you. We try not to, but man (pause), it’s terrible, actually. You try to keep [people] happy, but you can’t.” just seems to be woven throughout the fabric of our society right now at every level. I certainly don’t think college football players have the discontent market cornered, at all.

    Still, in general I would say good on everyone for making the most of the current environment, and for seeking the best situation for themselves. I am on the side of the little guy on an individual level. But man, the overall systemic chaos and social disruption in the short term is crazy.

    Liked by 4 people

    • classiccitycanine

      I do think we have lost too much willingness to make personal sacrifices for the collective good, but I’m not exactly crying for the well paid coaches and supervisors that are complaining about “babying” players, employees, customers, etc. These folks can’t rely on being dictators any more. Now they have to build an attractive culture where team goals overlap with the individual goals of the people in the organization. They’re going to have to show people why it’s in their best interest to stick around and work towards a compelling team goal rather than rely on immobility for retention. That’s a good thing in my mind.

      Like

      • DawgFlan

        I agree. That’s the positive side of the pendulum swing – hopefully the dictators, psychopaths, and toxic environments are exposed and get what they deserve. (See Hawaii football.) But like you said, at some point people have to put in the work, perform and prove that their choices are sustainable and earned.

        Liked by 1 person

  11. Ozam

    All I can say is ..thank gawd we won last season!

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Can collusion among some coaches and a resulting lawsuit be far off? History keeps repeating.

    Greed of those in power created this mess and now they cry foul. All they have to do is turn away from the money and the problems are solved…so that ain’t happening. I still don’t see how a CBA works on students in ways the Supreme Court would allow and I don’t see how making SA’s employees fully works. But I guess if a kid works in the school cafeteria while attending school, you can do the same for the athletes.

    Has there ever been an institution that has so failed it’s mission statement like the NCAA? Other than government, of course. 😜

    Like

  13. MGW

    That’s what happens when fight a zero sum game to the bitter end and lose. Repeatedly.

    Like

  14. atticus34

    Only question that is relevant: Is the overall college football fans experience better or worse and more or less economical than 5 years ago? Every dime going to players and coaches comes from fans/alumni. I think its a joke, but thankfully we won a title before this mess.

    Like

  15. Dylan Dreyer's Booty

    “Coaches will start figuring out — or, in some cases, already have figured out — a better way to keep their talent in the fold. Players will begin to realize those greener pastures aren’t always greener when they show up.”

    This is what is happening, imo. Like any free market situation people with brains will adapt; those that don’t adapt will always have twitter and blog comments to whine about it. You have to reach very far back in time to see coaches who have been abusive (Hawaii, Maryland, e.g.) and the only player option was just to quit – and not just the team he was on, but football. If I had to pick a top winning coach who is on the decline it would be Dabo. I will never know for sure what happened with Derion Kendrick, but whatever caused him to be ‘off the team’ was not so good for Dabo and tough love and great for UGA and Derion. Maybe we would have won the Natty without Derion, but leaving Clemson gave him a fresh start, he got to be part of a Natty and improved his draft status. Others (DRob comes to mind) may have over estimated their value, but ultimately they get to try. Hard for me to see why that is bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • dawgphan34

      Agreed. Also get the added leverage on bad coaches. A guy like Todd Graham has always had a bad reputation. Now player portal can create leverage to remove bad coaches.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m with you on this. Coaches are griping but the best will adapt…and I see that adaptation as a good thing for all involved. Coaches are being more transparent with kids and maintaining the relationships post recruitment. This building of clarity and trust is good for all. No more bait and switch…you gotta sell something that is real and sustainable post recruitment. Sure kids will still leave and coaches are going to have to work harder to get the kids that will commit and stay committed. They will figure it out. No easy fixes here, the winners here will be the ones who adapt best.

      Like

    • veryfinepeopleonboth Sides

      Didn’t Kendrick get arrested passed out in a car at 3AM with a loaded weapon in his lap? I can tell you why he was off the team….

      Like

  16. Derek

    Portaling is fine. Go play where you want to.

    NLI is as predicted a grotesque debacle that people running college sports ought to be ashamed of. First, because they created the environment from whence it came. Second, because no one from within has the courage to speak out against it or to offer any rational solutions.

    It’ll be very interesting to see if it continues unregulated and the investors aren’t seeing ROI because some other program is spending more. Do they stop playing the game completely? Will Tennessee boosters be sold on the idea that Charlotte over the holidays is better than Nashville or Memphis once they realize that Atlanta and playoffs to follow just isn’t happening?

    Like

    • godawgs1701

      What’s grotesque about it? Players getting money?

      Like

      • Derek

        Yeah thats it.

        Young athletes being prostituted by adults who should know better is grotesque.

        The sole deciding factor for the vast majority of these kids in terms of where they go to school ought to be:

        Where will I best obtain the skills I need to earn a living later in life?

        That’s it. It should never be: who has the most cash for me today?

        Very few of these guys are going to make any sort of living on football.

        We have 47 former players on NFL teams right now. Thats less than 2 signing classes. Most of our opponents will have even fewer.

        What about the other 500 guys who they played with?

        Just fuck ‘em? We pay them to entertain us and then fuck ‘em if they don’t make it? The idea that we would allow adults to dangle cash in front of teenagers solely so those adults can then brag about their football team’s performance is disgusting. It makes everyone Auburn. And I hate Auburn.

        Like

        • RangerRuss

          “It makes everyone Auburn.”
          Derek called us all Auburn.
          Vote to ban.
          😉

          Liked by 2 people

        • I get your take. But you’re too absolute. A kid can get great money AND get a good education. Those who choose a school for more money today were likely the ones who would choose a school for bag money, indoor putting greens, PlayStations in their locker, etc. of yesterday.

          Stetson Bennett is an authentic story. How does him making NIL money change any of that?

          Liked by 2 people

          • Derek

            Stetson’s set for life without NLI so how does NLI change anything for him long term?

            Is it worth making ALL 17 year old prospects potentially exploitable, most to their long term detriment, because we can all identify certain players for whom nli is harmless and/or certain endorsements that are also harmless? Doesn’t seem worth the trade off to me.

            The issue for me was never whether it was ok for Trevor Lawrence to sign with Nike. The problem was once you allow that reasonable arrangement how do you stop consortiums of boosters from simply buying high school students? You can’t.

            Like

            • Is it worth making ALL 17 year old prospects potentially exploitable, most to their long term detriment, because we can all identify certain players for whom nli is harmless and/or certain endorsements that are also harmless? Doesn’t seem worth the trade off to me.

              It’s a shame your point of view isn’t particularly relevant. I suspect those seventeen-year olds couldn’t care less what you think. Neither do the folks shelling out the money.

              Capitalism, for the win…

              Liked by 1 person

              • Derek

                I’d like to buy a baby. Let the market set the price.

                And stop with the pearl clutching and moralizing.

                Someone out there wants to sell and doesn’t care what you think about it.

                Like

                • LMAO.

                  You are the master of over the top analogies.

                  Like

                • Derek

                  The difference is only one of degree. A mother selling her infant is wrong. An uncle selling his 17 year old nephew is also wrong. Offering to purchase either is wrong.

                  They start recruiting these kids at 12 and 13 now right? Isn’t that when Lane can offer them, have a story in the news and set the kid up to be targeted by groups of boosters?

                  There are good reasons to disallow all of it. Can’t think of ONE good reason to be FOR any of it.

                  Liked by 1 person

  17. On the plus side for the coaches, college football is now better preparation for their NFL ambitions. This precise issue – the leverage of the players – is why screaming nut jobs like Urban “it was a bad deal” Meyer flame out in – in his case – a glorious blaze of glory.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. paulwesterdawg

    I think kids like Burton who change high schools multiple times will be seen as such huge portal risks that their value to elite programs will diminish over time. We have one of those in the upcoming class as well. That’s not to say that they won’t get recruited. They will. But they will become a lessor priority for the Kirby and Saban of the world. Mid level guys who are seen as flight risks will drop more than front line guys like this.

    Like

  19. cowetadawg

    Like the Senator and others have pointed out, collective bargaining is coming. We’ll see then how these issues get . . . more tamed? I won’t be so bold as to predict a complete resolution of the chaos. It is the Wild West right now, but at least the players will have a seat at the table.

    Like

  20. Munsoning

    My heart bleeds for those multimillionaire coaches who can’t treat their players like shit anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Joe Blow

    “We’ve got to coddle them, baby them.” That comment is the typical toxic male bullshit. The reality is those with power and money are getting grumpy that the players are developing a consciousness. So the boss man says, “you go run into that brick wall“ and the player says “uh,no”. Why, to the boss man making 8 million a year that player is “difficult “, not thinking of the team and he’s a pussy. That Is the typical male authoritarian crap That can’t deal with players as equals.

    Liked by 2 people

  22. archiecreek

    Kinda like the NFL…
    only so many roster positions
    be happy if you land one,
    work you a$$ off to get one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Got Cowdog

      #47 is on a couple of billboards around Gainesville. Would someone post the clip of his block on Ringo’s pick six?
      Ruining the sport, indeed…

      Liked by 1 person