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How the college football transfer portal actually operates

The college football transfer portal is a source of great anxiety, restlessness, frustration, and a general sense that college sports are not what they used to be. Most people in college football would agree that the portal is not operating the way it is supposed to. However, there are accepted and understood rhythms and sequences in this part of the industry. Coaches, schools and players know how the game is played and try to do the best job they can within a given set of expectations. Reporters at The Athletic produced an inside look at the portal (subscription required). We hae some excerpts we can share.

Here’s one: Schools spend a lot of time looking at players even if they don’t know they will enter the transfer portal for that given cycle. An anonymous assistant coach put it this way:

The main way it works is staffs — especially at the highest levels — have a whole crew of people that just watch film all day of other college teams. The same way you used to watch high school film, they watch college games and keep a board stocked with potential portal players. Even though none of these players are in the portal, they watch them and they find ways to let those people know that, “If you happen to go to the portal, you’ll have a home with us.” That’s happening a lot.

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Story originally appeared on Trojans Wire