Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde discuss Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher and Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney’s statements about their dissatisfaction with the state of college football’s transfer portal.
DAN WETZEL: A couple of interesting quotes of late about coaches complaining about the portal and the--
PAT FORDE: Coaches complaining, really?
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, coaches complaining.
PAT FORDE: Imagine.
DAN WETZEL: Hard to have a roster. The funny part is it's two ends of the spectrum. And we have William Christopher Swinney, who's a regular on this.
PAT FORDE: Yes.
DAN WETZEL: And then there's Jimbo Fisher, who seems to be causing much of the problems.
PAT FORDE: Yeah.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, he's complaining too.
PAT FORDE: Of course. Here we go.
DAN WETZEL: Let's start with Jimbo, who recently picked up his sixth Rivals five-star in the class of '22 when they added another defensive lineman-- has one of the greatest recruiting classes, if not statistically, like, the greatest recruiting class of all time--
PAT FORDE: Ever.
DAN WETZEL: Yeah, ever. I don't know where, just A&M just all of a sudden is the hot place to go to school, has everybody in the sport rolling their eyes, and pointing at this collective, and all this stuff, which I say, hey, you know, better to be pointed at than be the guy doing the pointing, because you get the players.
PAT FORDE: Yeah, right?
DAN WETZEL: Jimbo, though, is not into the portal. His quote-- you don't even among your own guys who's in, who's out. You think you're deep at a position, then two guys leave. And there are outside voices sticking their noses in. That makes it hard.
There's nothing coaches hate more than outside voices. Thoughts on Jimbo, of all people, right now complaining about the portal.
PAT FORDE: Like, seriously? We have to hear from him? It's hilarious to me. Yeah, you know what? When you bring in the most heralded recruiting class, potentially ever, some other guys may want to leave because they see their playing time going out the window. And they may think it's time to look elsewhere. Gosh, that doesn't need to be-- that's not necessarily an outside voice, that's an informed opinion, perhaps, from the young men.
Like, hmm, yeah, those three offensive linemen who are all five-stars, they play my position and I haven't gotten on the field yet. I don't want to be number two and maybe bumped down to number three. I'm going to go somewhere else. Welcome to the real world. That's how things happen. And the idea that these outside voices are corrupting what's going on at A&M-- if Jimbo can complain right now when he is absolutely conquering everything, he can complain about anything.
DAN WETZEL: I don't know what Jimbo is going to do, but complaining that guys are leaving when they, quite honestly, should be leaving--
PAT FORDE: Yeah. When you are overbooked with talent, things are going to even themselves out. Supply and demand.
DAN WETZEL: On the flip side, now, we often are very critical of Coach Swinney But here's his part, and maybe he's the antithesis of this-- at least he's complaining which I, again, $9 million a year. We're not doing our job as coaches and recruiters if we're bringing in a bunch of transfers, he said.
Now, he went on to have a bunch of others. I've always been about education, the collegiate model, and the collegiate experience-- I don't think what's been created now is healthy for the game. Those are his opinions. I can't argue with that. Always the guy says he's glad they're making money, but doesn't seem really all that happy about it.
So I guess the situation here is-- your thoughts on Coach Swinney here on those comments.
PAT FORDE: Well, I mean, it's always-- the great thing about Dabo is he's always going to have something to say. You know, you get him on a topic other than, why do your quarterbacks complete such a low percentage of their passes when their names aren't Trevor Lawrence, and it's going to be great because he's going to go off in some direction or another. And the tangent's going to be interesting.
Look, one of the things that we don't fully have our arms wrapped around yet but stands to reason is that in the transfer portal era, graduation success rate-- or academic progress rate, graduation success rate's going to go down, because credits aren't going to transfer, majors aren't going to be there. You're going to have to take different majors-- that sort of thing.
It's going to be harder from that standpoint to actually graduate. That I think-- we will wait and see what the numbers bear out. But it stands to reason that this is not an academically friendly situation. So if he really cares about academics, then he probably has a point there.
You know, I kind of like the concept of if we're doing things the right way, players aren't going to transfer. But the reality also is that there's just going to be x amount of playing time. And at places like Clemson, you're probably going have too many good players to fit into that playing time. So even if you're doing a good job, you're going to have guys are going to be like, eh, I'm not getting on the field and I came here as a four-star-- I'm going somewhere else.