Why the Transfer Portal is Ruining College Football


Dylan DeBiccari, Contributing Writer

For the fourth year straight, college football players will once again break the transfer portal record for number of athletes transferred in a transfer window to a new college football team. Every year after the regular season ends, college football players can declare that they are transferring to a new school on December 5. They can continue to do this until January 18 of the next calendar year. In these 45 days, over 3,000 football players will change schools for different reasons for the second year in a row. In the 2019-2020 window, the first spike was seen when 1,695 players entered the portal to change schools. In the 2020-2021 cycle, not as many players transferred due to COVID-19, but the NCAA gave players an extra “COVID year” of eligibility. This made many players want to spend their extra year of college playing somewhere else with a fresh start. These players are called graduate transfers: players who have already graduated college and transfer to a new school. In the 2021-2022 cycle, 3,085 players transferred to a new home. This raised the question everybody is asking: will the NCAA stop this, and if they do, when? 


College Sports have Become a Business

There are many problems that the transfer portal has caused on all levels. First, college is supposed to be the end goal of youth sports. The whole point of youth sports is to create loyalty to your teammates, and have chemistry with them. The transfer portal has turned the end of youth sports into a business. NIL (Name, Image, and Likeness) deals have allowed college athletes to make money off of their name and likeness. No one has a problem with the fact that athletes are making money, they have a problem with how they are chasing the money. College football players have begun to transfer to the school offering them the most money. This has caused smaller schools with less money to be at a major disadvantage in the transfer process. 


No Loyalty

Many college football players have a lot in common when they graduate high school and join their respective college football teams. For each college football player, growing up they were the star of their high school team. In their respective recruiting processes, they were told that they would be the star of the college team. So, when a high school recruit gets to his college team and isn’t starting from day one, they give up? Then, they transfer to a new team, and as long as they’re not starting, the cycle will repeat itself. Instead of going to a team, waiting a year or two to get your chance, then playing well and getting drafted, these kids are ruining their chances to have a professional career because they won’t remain patient and trust the process. 


High School Recruits are Losing

The biggest losers in this whole process are high school recruits. College coaches have realized that it is better to take in a new player with college experience than to take in an inexperienced 18 year old. Many talented recruits all over the country are struggling to pick up scholarship offers because of the transfer portal. Also, if and when these high school recruits receive a scholarship offer and then go to the school the next fall, they can’t develop because new players continue to transfer in. 

College football, its players, and coaches are in a midst of chaos. Nobody knows when a change is coming. The NCAA would have to change a rule or adjust the calendar or something along those lines, but until this happens, the transfer portal will continue to cause issues, one season after another.