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Five interesting facts about the NCAA transfer portal

Feel exhausted trying to plot college player movement in the transfer portal era? You're not alone.

In the last few weeks, the Gophers football team has added a slew of transfers, including LSU edge rusher Jaxon Howard and Georgia wide receiver Tyler Williams.

The men's basketball team lost Elijah Hawkins, Pharrel Payne and Joshua Ola-Joseph but added Oregon guard Brennan Rigsby and big man Frank Mitchell from Canisius. The men's hockey team landed a top transfer in Matthew Wood out of Connecticut. The women's basketball team brought Taylor Woodson back home from Michigan.

Whatever used to be called the offseason for college coaches, athletes and administrators has become a goose chase of NIL money, social media announcements and roster changes. The first transfer portal window for this academic calendar year opened on Nov. 12 with field hockey. The final window will close on July 2 for baseball.

If players are going to leave their respective programs, they have to declare it before the window closes — though they can still commit to a new program after the window closes.

Here are some questions and answers explaining how transfer portal windows work for Division I athletics:

When is the transfer portal window for college football?

We are currently in the spring transfer portal window for college football, which lasts from April 16-April 30 and is the second opportunity football players have had to transfer this offseason. The fall transfer portal window for football lasted nearly a month from Dec. 4-Jan. 2. This is the normal model for fall sports — which are given two different windows totaling 45 days — but football is given its own window while every other fall sport's transfer window comes after.

When is the transfer portal window for college basketball?

Men's and women's basketball are winter sports and afforded one 45-day transfer window; it opened on March 18 and the final day to enter the portal is May 1. Every winter sport gets just one transfer window, but the NCAA staggers the dates throughout March, April and May.

What about volleyball and hockey?

Volleyball is like football, a fall sport with two windows. But while the Gophers football team is getting ready to close it's second transfer portal window, the volleyball team will get started on May 1 with a window that lasts through May 15. Men's and women's hockey are both in an open transfer window right now, but at different points. Men's hockey players can transfer between March 31-May 14 while women's hockey players can transfer between March 17-April 30.

What about spring sports?

Spring sports like baseball, softball and outdoor track are treated just like the fall, with two windows. Their first transfer window was last year from Dec. 1-Dec. 15 and their second windows are all staggered. Baseball is given the last transfer portal window for the 2023-2024 academic calendar year from June 3-July 2.

Don't forget about bowling

There are 24 sanctioned sports in the NCAA and every single one of them gets a transfer window, so while football and basketball chew up headlines, just know players can move in every sport. In case you're curious: the transfer window for rifle athletes recently closed on April 10; bowlers still have time as their window closes on May 17.