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The Transfer Portal Creates Bigger Advantage for Top Programs



[vc_row][vc_column][vc_single_image source="featured_image" img_size="large"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The transfer portal has been somewhat a controversial topic of discussion the last couple of seasons and has changed the college game in many ways. Couple that with the transfer rules which allow each player a one-time free transfer opportunity, the cancellation of penalties for intraconference transferring, and we have some chaos. Here are the 3 reasons the transfer portal and rules benefit the haves far more than the have-nots.

The Have-Nots are now a farm system for the Elite

The elite programs in the country are now bringing in the best players from around college football who are stranded on rosters with less highly rated high school talent. Imagine a world where Patrick Mahomes goes to Texas, perhaps Khalil Mack heads to Ohio State. These have-not programs end up developing quality players that were considered out of high school not to be good enough to play with the big boys. The perfect examples would be Alabama this cycle landing former 3 stars Tyler Harrell from Louisville, and Jamyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech. Look at what Oklahoma was able to do, taking on several up-and-coming players from lesser programs to fill gaps, leaving a big void in those smaller programs but helping the larger ones fill out their rosters. Is this a bad thing? That depends on who you talk to, but its design is helping the superpowers and hurting the have-nots.

Power Programs can shed scholarship players with less fear

There is always a demand for players to head to Alabama, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and others. That is not always the case for other programs. These top-tier programs have the ability to ask players on their roster that won't contribute to enter the transfer portal. Tell them "thanks, but no thanks" because these programs will have the ability to fill their void. Other programs are not so fortunate and certainly would not get the possible trade-ups these other programs inherit. What makes FBS unique is there is an 85 scholarship limit (that has been played with a bit to accommodate covid eligibility). Now, these programs no longer just have better access to the high-ranking high school talent, but also can take just about any player from the portal they would like. These programs aren't playing with a true 85 scholarship limit, because at any time they can dump 5-10 bodies that won't play to take their chance on a new batch of experienced players who have proven their worth.

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NIL Benefits the Haves

The programs with money and booster support can simply offer more cash flow opportunities for their programs with their collectives than other programs have. Perhaps we are seeing a real-life example with Jordan Addison's departure from Pitt, he appears to be eying Alabama or USC. Texas has an NIL deal that gives every scholarship offensive lineman $50k, and Oklahoma has one that allows each scholarship player to earn up to $50k if they were to participate in various activities. This is just the baseline, as these players will always be playing for a big brand and can negotiate their own NIL deals outside of this. While it is possible to do so at say Pitt or Maryland the reality is there are companies who would love to have players from the big brand schools represent them. It gives them an advantage in the recruiting game, and in the transfer portal.

NIL and the transfer portal both have some work to be done, and guardrails that need to be placed. College players absolutely deserve to profit off their name, image, and likeness. To me, the amount doesn't matter, and you are worth what people are willing to pay you. But the undeniable truth is that there are resources available elite programs have that the regular ones do not. Well, that is of course what makes the haves the haves, and the have nots the have nots.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]