Can scheduled windows tame the chaos of the transfer portal? | College Football Enquirer

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Sports Illustrated’s Pat Forde are joined by SI’s Ross Dellenger to discuss the mayhem that has been caused by the transfer portal and what changes may be on the horizon.

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: So we're going to have some more transfers. There's a good story on ESPN. There's been a million transfer portal stories. But David Shaw mentioning you're going to have people leave after the season, a group of guys that leave in winter conditioning. There's going to be another group that leave it end of spring. Then you're going to see numbers. Then you're going to see where they are and maybe see the incoming freshmen.

You say, you know what? I may have a good chance someplace else. And all the coaches are calling for some kind of, like, schedule, right? I know you've talked to a lot of people about this, Ross and Pat. I kind of agree with this. I'm anti-regulation in general. But you can't have free agency, as we said. College football has free agency, the draft, the championship, and the coaching carousel all at the same-- you've got to have something set up here.

Obviously, a guy wants to drop out of school or not participate with the team-- there's nothing you can do. And you can't stop a kid from taking unofficial visits, right? Because these are public-- many of these places are public institutions if you want to walk on. But what works here? What do you think-- what do you think's reasonable? Ross, let's start with you.

ROSS DELLENGER: Yeah, I think-- I know I was meeting with some coaches on the road. I just got in from a two-week road trip, did the Masters, and then made a couple of stops along the way. And every single one of them I met with, you know, talked about this issue. And this is, like, the number-one issue, 1A, 1B, right? NIL and transfer portal, and both of them together have kind of created what we're seeing now, in kind of a free agency of college sports.

And I think most coaches want and believe that eventually there will be some kind of closed and open windows to the portal that it might open, like, six week-- for six weeks after the fall semester ends. Then it will close. And then it'll open for six weeks after the spring semester ends. Then it'll close.

So you give players a chance to get in the portal, you know, after spring practice and give them a chance to get in the portal after the fall season. That would bring a little more, I guess, regulation to it. It might help coaches with roster management. That's the big thing you hear over and over again is how difficult the roster management is.

And then you don't have players, honestly just kind of quitting mid-season, right in the middle of a season. And we've seen that and just going into the portal. And that-- or doing the same thing in the middle of spring practice, which we haven't seen quite as much of. But you're definitely seeing a lot of that during the actual season of players, like, skipping out and going into the portal.

So I think the future is some kind of closed-an-open window. But it's in the middle of-- I think, the transformation committee is discussing this issue. And I think the real-- they're legal concerns, right? They're real issues, legal concerns.

And they talked about when they first implemented the portal in 2018, talked about doing it with closed-and-open portal windows. But NCAA legal said, no, no, no, don't do that. We'll get sued. A lot of administrators now are regretting not doing that because really they're going to get sued either way, right? I mean, we live in a litigious society, where lawsuits are going to come either way.

PAT FORDE: Yeah, I think that it makes sense to have some element of regulation of this and/or just structure to when these things can happen because right now, in total free for all, while in theory it's right and just, it's not very easy to actually navigate for anybody, I don't think, for the players or for the schools. And it would make sense to do it at the end of the semester. And I know occasionally Dan will laugh at me when I bring up academics.

But, you know, if you let the players actually finish the semester and figure out where they are academically and then decide, OK, I'm leaving-- and you can decide beforehand. But you can't put in until after you've finished your semester, and you go from there. I think that would work out better.

Now, boy, that would create-- hoo! That would be like the old oil rush in the 1800s, where you're like, oh, my god, [INAUDIBLE] 1,300 players go into the portal now. Boom, everybody's rushing after those guys then. But better that, I think, than just trying to navigate this constant, like, 12-year-- 12-months-a-year, 365-day sort of trickle, almost, in and out of the portal.

DAN WETZEL: Yeah, I mean, the way I look at it right now-- and again, I get-- I get twitchy when they start coming up with guardrails.


DAN WETZEL: But that's a favorite NCAA buzzword, too--

PAT FORDE: Yeah, yeah, guardrails.

DAN WETZEL: --guardrails. Guardrail for who? But it would be good for the player, too, in two aspects. One, you could transfer and then get recruited over again in the transfer portal. So it's like, oh, OK I need a need a tight end, and this kid's available, and he's good. We'll take him.

And then a better one is available two months later. You go, ah, we'll take him too. So this would allow it a little bit more information for the players. Also, it would eliminate-- I think it's a little bit to Pat's academic thing, among other things, and just being the first to declare for the portal no longer helps. It's kind of a race to the portal because you want to be the top player at your position and then have that pecking order.

Instead it's like, well, it doesn't help to do that, you know, in the middle of October or whatever. Obviously kids are going to walk away. It's not-- there's not a perfect solution here. But they do need something.