The transfer portal is always buzzing with activity in college football, and coaches would like to see a way to modify the process for improved roster management. According to a report from ESPN, college football coaches are pushing for two transfer windows with one in the fall and another in the spring.
The American Football Coaches Association is proposing a window from the final Sunday in November until the early signing period in mid-December and another that would run from mid-April until the start of May. As reported by ESPN, players would not be required to transfer during those two periods but would only be allowed to enter the transfer portal during those specific times. These proposals to the calendar are intended to help provide a little more structure to the transfer window process, one that barely has much to it other than a deadline of May 1 to officially enter the transfer portal.
“We knew there were going to be very few controls over it, but at least if we had a window, then the student-athletes would be able to go, ‘Is this a good decision? Because here’s my competition. Now I know what the other competition is because we’re all in the window at the same time,'” AFCA executive director Todd Berry told ESPN. “It might change some perspectives. They need to be able to make educated decisions.”
The transfer portal has been a hot topic of conversation, especially since the start of the NIL era. For the student-athlete, the transfer portal has arguably been a significant success as it has allowed them more freedom than ever before to fully evaluate their options without feeling tied to one school that may not be working out for them. But it has been an ongoing concern for coaches who have to balance how to manage a roster knowing any number of players could leave or contemplate leaving at any time, thus making the coach feel little more pressure to fill out the roster where needed while also working on recruiting.
This is not to say the coaches, on the whole, shouldn’t feel that pressure. But from a roster management standpoint, having two specific transfer windows would be an improvement for the coaches, but it may also be a step back for the student-athletes’ best interests.
Another endorsement from the AFCA that should be drawing a little more attention is the lifting of the 25-scholarship limit for each recruiting class. The AFCA still endorses the 85-scholarship limit, but believes schools should be able to fill that total on their own schedule without being limited to 25 scholarships each recruiting cycle. So, in theory, a school could take on 40 scholarship players one year if the scholarships are available.
Such changes may take time to fully implement, as the NCAA would have to have the rules proposed from within and then reviewed and voted on. SO these changes won’t be happening this year, and it may even be a little longer before either idea is fully adopted.
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