What does the portal do

The portal has become, in fairly short order, especially with no requirement to sit out a year after a first trip through the college FB portal, a mechanism by which the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.

Let’s say a decent P-5 school has used its allotment of scholarships but still has a interest in some other players that it probably was also recruiting. It becomes fairly easy to see those prospects grabbed by G-5 schools with the former P-5 recruiter telling these players that “we will keep you on our radar and our eyes on you because you never know what might happen.”
So, if a kid taken by a G-5 school because a P-5 team doesn’t have an available scholarship and a year or two later, that P-5 school suddenly develops a need at a certain position that their former recruit (now doing well at a G-5 program) is playing, they can tell the kid to transfer to them via the portal. The kid who accepts moves upstream.
In similar fashion, a kid recruited at a P-5 program who either rides the bench or only sees limited playing time can portal his way to more PT at a G-5 school. That kid can downstream.
The net effect is that the talent level between P-5 and G-5 continues to widen as the better players upstream to a higher profile program while the lesser-skilled players downstream to a lower profile program.
Other inducements to make a kid accept an upstream opportunity include NIL cash opportunities that are less likely available in a G-5 setting, more TV exposure, more opportunities to be scouted, a larger fan base, better facilities, travel conditions, better training table, etc., etc.

At least if a kid had to sit a year, it’d make him think a bit longer about what he’s losing vs what he may be gaining after a year in the penalty box.


Pretty sure coaches can’t contact players until they are listed in the portal. Obviously tough to enforce that though.

In pro sports there are salary caps or taxes to create competitive balance. This suppresses some players earning abilities but it is supposed to increase overall revenue and thus reward players overall through the revenue split. Considering there is no way that college players are rewarded for increased competitive balance in college football, I don’t think it’s justifiable to limit their movements.

As for NIL, I’m not a fan of the blanket deals for an entire team or position group but the NCAA/schools messed that up. If they had passed reasonable regulations a few years ago they’d be fine but they thought they could get away with it forever and ended up in this mess.

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Yeah, contact has a ton of rules around it. Nick Saban can’t text Weatherford and ask him to come down to bama for a season.


What I was trying to say was that, during recruiting, a coach can tell a kid that there may not be room for him (because all scholarships are accounted for) but that they really liked him…and perhaps he could come to our P-5 school and walk-on…or he obviously could take a scholarship offered by a G-5 school.

Thereafter, the G-5 coaching / recruiting staff can track a kid and if he really blossoms at the G-5 school, and were to enter the portal, the previous P-5 school would likely be in a primo position to get him through the portal…

Sorry if I was a bit confusing before but kids tend to remember who recruited them and at what the degree of interest was…so reconnecting should be relatively easy…or so I suspect.

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The NCAA absolutely knew that this rule would do the damage it’s beginning to do to the smaller schools.

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I’m not really sure why the schools’ interest matters in the grand scheme of things. No one has a problem with guys like Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly leaving for better jobs. Hell, Miami’s whole national reputation, advertised on the side of the stadium, is “coaches leave here for better jobs.” Why shouldn’t players be allowed to leave for better jobs?

Does this hurt smaller schools? I guess. But I could have transferred to Cincinnati without sitting out a year if I wanted to. Why can’t a football player transfer to Cincinnati without sitting out a year?


I’m not an atty, but similar to coaches buyouts could we see NIL deals have similar clauses for players that leave? The OSU QB left - did he have to repay any $ or give his custom $100K truck back? I wouldn’t think for profit companies would be so forgiving if they were jilted by kids. This could slow things a bit at least for kids making NIL$.

  1. I think a lot of people had a problem with Lincoln Riley and Brian Kelly moving- but maybe a better example is nobody had a problem with Billy Napier leaving for Florida but Rajin Cajun fans. It is 100% true the coaches shouldnt be complaining- but that doesnt mean the fans cant

  2. Each situation is a little different but since Miami students fund a good percentage of the scholarships you could come see how they may not like serving as a training ground for future P5 athletes on their dime. Especially at a school like Miami were normal retention rates are high.

  3. For Miami a more appropriate rule may be like my company’s rules are. We pay for part of your school but if you leave our company early you have to pay it back unless it wasnt your decision. I know it will never work in athletics because all the other colleges are allowing free transfers.

  4. I think the reality (and therefore our medium to long term problem) is that what seems fair for OSU athletes is probably different than Miami athletes. Chuck Martin makes a healthy salary but it is probably only twice a tenured professor. So at Miami we really dont have a situation where the school is taking advantage of “unpaid” athletes.

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It seems the military academies have a clause that if you transfer after the first two years you owe a significant amount of $. They are govt institutions- why couldn’t state schools institute a similar payback requirement? Coaching contracts are built like employee contracts - student athletes are not yet considered employees of schools (looking more like this may change soon), but somehow the Svc academies get away with a payback.

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I can’t remember for certain but I believe that I read or heard somewhere that NIL deals cannot have these types of contingencies in them.

Pretty interesting idea

The NIL deals are outside of the schools. They are solely between the athlete and the sponsor.

Yes, but I also don’t think they can be performance based or require any sort of restitution if a kid transfers/quits the team/etc… I’m assuming they would be done on an annual
basis for this reason

Do you also want this as a requirement for merit scholarships from a school, or just for athletic scholarships?

Trying to financially punish unpaid student athletes because they might make the team you like to root for worse seems pretty bad to me.


Wait though, they are paid. For their time commitment of partaking in representing the university in a sport, they get a free education. We may agree that the payment should be greater than that, but still, college isn’t free.


I’m not sure I’m advocating for any specific model, however it seems there are unintended consequences with the current model that have not been net positive to schools or the kids (many portal kids never find a home). I’m sure there will be some tweaks in the coming years - it would be nice if they were thoughtful enough to create that net positive for both entities. Provide incentives & disincentives - for kids to fight through adversity and display loyalty while finishing a degree seems to benefit the kid and the school long term. Not to say they can’t transfer as there are many good reasons to do so, but it seems many are getting bad advice and being hurt in the process. Reel it in a bit to provide better guidance while they grow up.

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Sure they get a scholarship, but apart from a small cost of living stipend, they aren’t collecting a paycheck or any cash. Holding tens of thousands of dollars of tuition/room & board over athletes heads would effectively prevent most from transferring at all or at least would end them up in bad student debt.

To compare merit scholarships don’t need to be refunded if the student transfers or if the student’s GPA drops below the required threshold (equivalent to an athlete leaving the team). I don’t see any justification for treating them differently.

This all falls on the NCAA, School Presidents, Athletic Directors and Conference leadership. They’ve abdicated any type of leadership or foresight for decades. Don’t feel sorry for the adults, coaches included.

What the new world of college athletics is going to expose, imo, is Miami’s history of being reactive, especially with sports. Departments with creative, eager folks leading the way will find a way to position themselves for success, no matter the size of the school. I don’t trust Miami Athletics to be any of that.


I’m no expert in any way, just trying to say that the idea these kids get nothing when they get a full ride scholarship is not logically correct. Maybe I’m different. I would have loved a full ride. And I wouldn’t have needed a side hustle from the local car dealer to feel any happier although if a kid can get a million bucks, more power to them.