Here are a few facts about the transfer portal. Whether you like it or don’t, these things are true.
- It holds EVERYONE more accountable for their actions.
- It makes recruiting harder for EVERYONE.
- The best players will always find a place to play.
What do you mean it holds everyone accountable? Players who were either “overlooked” or who put in the work and got better can get a “better” opportunity. Can they evaluate those opportunities? Will it really be better for them? Just because you can get recruited to a higher level doesn’t mean you’ll experience the same success.
Players who were “overhyped” may have the opportunity for a second chance somewhere else. Can they evaluate their new opportunities and understand what they need to do to make the most of them? Or will they try to renew the hype and live off of it?
Players who make excuses will find out that they are the real issue, not the coaches they play for or the schools they choose to attend. Maybe they won’t see it that way, but again, that’s on them.
Players aren’t stupid. Coaches who sold one thing in the recruiting process and don’t follow through will be looking for other players. Is it bad for players to leave a bad situation, but any coach can get a new job anytime they want to? Not all players are perfect and neither are all coaches.
Coaches who get lied to in the recruiting process can get the next player who is going to be a better fit for their program. Let’s be honest, some players, parents, “handlers”, etc., will say anything to get what they want. Sure coaches can do their homework, but even doing all the homework in the world doesn’t mean you know everything.
Coaches who get a new job can build their roster with players who fit them. I firmly believe that college coaches are fully responsible when their team loses. Maybe they can’t coach, or maybe they can but they just can’t recruit. If a player is really good enough, they won’t have any trouble finding another place to go. If they aren’t, should they really be there in the first place?
Recruiting is More Complicated
Some schools will have their whole roster leave. This opens up new opportunities for other athletes. The trickle-down effect will take longer. Now, not only will coaching changes affect recruiting all spring and summer, but players changing schools will affect recruiting as well.
Recruiting was a year-round responsibility that I enjoyed. If you’re not all about recruiting, you can’t do the job. Now, this is even more true. Who will see the transfer portal as an opportunity? “Come here, and I’ll help you get better and transfer out next year.” It doesn’t matter what level of college basketball you’re at, there’s another level above you. Maybe that next level is a professional level. But any coach that can sell player development and actually do it will have a ton of success. Scholarships are one-year renewable contracts right? So why not encourage a player to help them use that to their advantage instead of holding it over their head.
You can’t just X&O your way to wins. You have to be able to build relationships with your players and your recruits. You have to be able to show them that you can help them, not just win games. Otherwise, they will leave and I don’t blame them. It’s not just about Coach So and So anymore. Players who feel like they are getting used now have a voice. If they don’t think they are benefitting, they can go somewhere else that they will benefit.
Can we please be honest? The whole free education thing is great. But with all of the money wrapped up in college athletics, it’s so much more than that.