Transfer Portal Creates New Hope For Players

Michael Chambers, Sports Reporter

A major change in college football has arrived, and players now have more power than ever.

In October of 2018, The NCAA introduced the Transfer Portal, a new system that allows college athletes to contact and transfer schools without being blocked by the school they currently attend.

Making the decision to transfer comes with a lot of risk, including loss of scholarship or potentially bad team offers, but junior Kerrington Henson believes that it will benefit many players.

“A coach can be the key reason for choosing a school,” Henson said. “But if they leave for another job, then the player is stuck. Coaches also make certain promises to you, but that doesn’t mean that they all will be true.”

In November 2018, Texas Tech fired then head coach Kliff Kingsbury, and he went on to accept the offensive coordinator role at the University of Southern California. There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding his collegiate career as Kingsbury began receiving attention from NFL teams for his offensive intelligence. He was granted permission to interview with them and Kingsbury ended up backing out of his contract with the USC  to join the Arizona Cardinals as an NFL head coach. This led to major dysfunction. After the news broke of Kingsbury’s departure, the top athlete of the 2019 class receiver Bru McCoy officially entered the transfer portal. The team also lost one of its top safeties, Bubba Bolden, from the 2017 class.

It’s not just coaches who can cause a player to transfer though. When a team gets a new recruit who is talented, but they already have a someone for that position, someone can be left without playing time. Junior Sloane Cox supports the transfer portal, because he feels it gives every player who should be on the field an opportunity to play.

“Look at Justin Fields,” Cox said. “There are situations where a team has too many good players for just one position, and that leaves some guys out from earning their shot at the next level.”

Coming out of high school, quarterback Justin Fields was ranked the top recruit by ESPN, and he committed to the University of Georgia. After an entire season, however, Fields only attempted 39 passes and rarely saw the field. This year, Fields used the transfer portal to go to Ohio State, and he now has the third highest odds at winning the Heisman Trophy at 10-1, according to the betting site Bovada. It seems that Fields will finally get a chance to show the world what he is capable of, and hopefully that includes NFL scouts.

Raiders’ offensive coach Jason Aubrey feels that the portal will not only affect players who are transferring, but the recruiting process as a whole.

“With the transfer portal, coaches can now recruit athletes who have already established themselves as good players on the college level, so they won’t have to go for unproven players that haven’t been in that type of environment or atmosphere,” Aubrey said. “But it can also have a reverse effect where you might have to try to keep your own players from leaving as well.”

While Aubrey wants all players to be as successful as they can, he thinks success has more to do with just the game itself.

“Everyone has different goals, whether it be playing time or the education you’re receiving, but to me success for an athlete is about becoming a better person,” Aubrey said. “As a coach, the main thing I like to see from players is the person they can develop into and the positive things  they can contribute to society. That’s what success is to me.”